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Reopening of in-person visitation for state correctional facilities

By Morgan Hall

Frankfort, KY - Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble announced that visitation dates and times for the facilities operated by the Department of Corrections (DOC) and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) are now available for vaccinated family and friends to schedule an appointment to visit with their loved ones in-person.

In-person visitation will officially resume beginning the week of June 20, which will provide enough time to implement safety protocols such installation of plexiglass in visitation areas. Additionally, the scheduled date provides notice for family and friends of the justice-involved population who are not yet vaccinated to receive their shot of hope.

"The day has finally come when we can safely reopen our adult and youth correctional and residential facilities," said Gov. Beshear. "Again, if you have not received your shot of hope, please make an appointment so you can visit with your loved one once again in-person."

Available visitation dates and times for each specific facility is now available on DOC and DJJ's websites. All visitors must register prior to arriving at a facility.

All visitors at both DOC and DJJ facilities will be required to provide proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination card prior to admittance and will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times while inside the facilities. Additionally, each inmate and youth will be allowed only two visitors at a time, and all visitors will be subject to a temperature and symptom check upon arrival.

Kentuckians are encouraged to read the visitation safety guidelines prior to their visitation appointment. A complete list of the visitation safety guidelines is available on DOC and DJJ's websites.

"While we are ready to resume in-person visitation we must continue to follow the CDC guidelines for congregated settings and are asking that all visitors adhere strictly to these guidelines. No one will be allowed into the facility who is not following the safety guidelines. If for any reason an individual cannot, or chooses not to follow these safety guidelines, both DOC and DJJ are continuing to offer virtual visitation," Secretary Noble said. "We want to keep our prisons and youth facilities safe so that we do not experience another outbreak and can return to normal visitation operations as quickly as possible."

DOC and DJJ temporarily halted in-person visitations in March 2020 as one precaution taken to prevent COVID-19 from entering and spreading through the facilities, and within the communities in which they are located.

DOC and DJJ are continuing to offer virtual visits at all facilities for the foreseeable future. For anyone interested in continuing to visit virtually, the process for scheduling these virtual visits will remain the same. Additional information on how to schedule a visit can be obtained by contacting the facility in which your loved one is housed.

These in-person visitation guidelines only apply to DOC's 14 prisons that house state inmates, and not county jails. For information regarding in-person visitation with a state prisoner housed at a jail, please contact the jail directly.

This story was posted on 2021-06-04 09:15:30
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