Contact visitation will be reinstated on Friday at Louisiana's state-run prisons.
The Department of Public Safety and Corrections says beginning March 18, they will begin phasing in contact visitation across state-run prisons.
In February, the department reinstated non-contact visitations.
The department says the decision to reinstate contact visitations is due to the decline in COVID numbers and an increase in vaccination rates in the state.
Reopening plans for facilities have been approved and the department says it will continue to monitor the current status of COVID-19 in the public and in its prisons.
"Prisons have educated their inmate populations on the processes and procedures of visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. At all institutions, visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitation list in order to be eligible to visit," said the department. "In order to qualify for contact visitation, both the prisoner and his/her visitors age 14 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID and have proof of vaccination."
DPS&C says individuals (prisoners and visitors) who have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months, or completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last two months, or have received the COVID-19 booster, at any time, are considered fully vaccinated.
Those who are not fully vaccinated may be eligible for non-contact visitation, they said.
Visitation procedures include the following safety measures for all visitation:
- Upon entrance to the prison, all visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, which includes having their temperature checked
- Visitors will be required to follow social distancing guidelines for the duration of the visit
- All visitation areas and transport vehicles shall be sanitized prior to and between visits
- Hand sanitizer shall be available in all visitation areas
- Visitation hours, days, and duration and the number of allowed visitors vary by institution
- Visitors, 14 and older, and prisoners must be fully vaccinated & show proof of vaccination
- Masks are recommended for contact visitation but not required
- Vaccination not required
- Plexiglass barriers will separate the prisoners and their visitors
- Masks are required until seated for the commencement of the visitation
Visitation was originally suspended on March 12, 2020, to stop the spread of COVID-19 among the state's institutions. Visitation resumed on March 13, 2021. When COVID-19 infections surged, the Department suspended visitation again on July 26, 2021. On October 18, 2021, the Department reinstated visitation until a surge in COVID cases across the state forced suspension of visitation on January 6, 2022.
Non-contact visitation resumed on February 21, 2022. The Department created a webpage at doc.la.gov with COVID-19 information to keep relatives, loved ones, and the general public informed on the latest developments concerning the pandemic.
Should total active cases at a prison exceeds .5 percent of the total population of that institution, DSP&C says visitation at that prison will be suspended immediately until the rate falls below .5 percent.
Contact visitation will resume on the following dates: (Visitation must be scheduled in advance by contacting the prison. All visitors must be on the prisoner's visitation list.)
Friday, March 18, 2022
- Dixon Correctional Institute - 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Saturday, March 19, 2022
- Allen Correctional Center - Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women - at Hunt & Jetson - Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., at Louisiana State Penitentiary - Friday - Sunday (orderlies), 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Louisiana State Penitentiary - Saturday & Sunday, 8 - 11 a.m. & 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Monday, March 21, 2022
- David Wade Correctional Center - Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Elayn Hunt Correctional Center - 7 days a week, 8 - 11 a.m. & 1 - 4 p.m.
- Rayburn Correctional Center - Tuesday & Wednesday (max. custody), Thursday - Sunday (medium and minimum custody), 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Wednesday, March 26, 2022
- Raymond Laborde Correctional Center - Saturday & Sunday (general population), third Thursday of the month (segregated housing), 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
To schedule a visit or get more information about an institution's visitation, contact the facility's Visitation Department at the following numbers and times:
- Allen Correctional Center - 9 - 11:30 a.m. & 1 - 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (337) 389-6029
- David Wade Correctional Center - 8:30 - 11 a.m. & 12:30 - 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday at (318) 927-0400
- Dixon Correctional Institute - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (225) 634-6291
- Elayn Hunt Correctional Center - 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (225) 319-4559 or (225) 319-4364.
- Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (225) 319-2324
- Louisiana State Penitentiary - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (225) 655-2343
- Rayburn Correctional Center - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (985) 661-6380
- Raymond Laborde Correctional Center - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (318) 876-2891 ext. 268
Face-to-face attorney inmate visits are being reinstated for prisoners and attorneys who are both fully vaccinated.
According to the department, reopening plans are subject to change as guidelines or COVID-19 prevalence at the facility or in the community change.
There is currently no definitive timeline on full implementation of those additional measures.
DPS&C says they will announce to the media and the public any changes regarding visitation at doc.la.gov .
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