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Visitation at Louisiana's state-run prisons reinstated

Ohio prison has nearly 1,800 COVID-19 cases
Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 20:41:55-04

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) will begin phasing in visitation across its state-run prisons on Monday, October 18, 2021.

DPS&C, in consultation with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), says they have determined that as the COVID numbers continue to decline, and the vaccination rates among prisoners and the general public increase, the current environment is suitable to resume visitation.

The Department has also approved general reopening plans for its facilities and continues to monitor the current status of COVID-19 in the public and in its prisons.

Inmate populations have been updated 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.

Visitation procedures include the following safety measures:

  • Social distancing guidelines shall be in place for the duration of the visit
  • Upon entrance to the prison, all visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, which includes having their temperature checked
  • All persons are required to wear protective face coverings 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
  • Contact visitation requires that both the visitors and the inmate are fully vaccinated
  • Non-contact visits are required if the inmate or visitor is unvaccinated; non-contact visits require plexiglass separation barriers between the visitor and the prisoner
  • Visitation hours, days, and duration and the number of allowed visitors vary by institution

The DPS&C originally suspended visitation on March 12, 2020, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect staff and inmates at the state's institutions.

Visitation resumed on March 13, 2021, and when COVID-19 infections surged, the Department suspended visitation again on July 26, 2021.

The Department created a webpage at doc.la.gov with COVID-19 information the general public informed on the latest developments concerning the pandemic.

The DPS&C continues to test proactively for COVID-19 in accordance with CDC and LDH guidance.

They say that if someone within a dorm tests positive or is exposed to positive cases, that dorm or unit will be placed in quarantine, and visitation for that group will be postponed until they've been cleared by medical. Additionally, if at any point the total active cases at a prison exceeds .5 percent of the total population of that institution, visitation at that prison will be suspended immediately until the rate falls below .5 percent.

Visitation will resume on the following days with the following visitation schedules. Visitation must be scheduled in advance by contacting the prison. All visitors must be on the prisoner's visitation list and be 14 years of age and older.

Monday, October 18, 2021

  • Dixon Correctional Institute - 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
  • David Wade Correctional Center - Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Elayn Hunt Correctional Center - 7 days a week, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

  • Rayburn Correctional Center - Tuesday & Wednesday (max. custody), Thursday - Sunday (medium and minimum custody), 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

  • Allen Correctional Center - Saturday & Sunday, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Raymond Laborde Correctional Center - Saturday & Sunday (general population), third Thursday of the month (segregated housing), 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

  • 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.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

  • Louisiana State Penitentiary - Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4 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 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

Offiicals say state prison facilities may begin phasing in general reopening plans which include a limited number of volunteers for faith-based programming, as well as ramping up vocational and educational programs to near pre-COVID-19 levels.

"In addition, plans are being worked out to resume face-to-face attorney inmate visits. Currently, inmates visit with their attorneys via Zoom call and by telephone. All reopening plans will follow LDH’s COVID-19 guidelines and are subject to change as guidelines or COVID-19 prevalence at the facility or in the community change. At this point, there is no definitive timeline on full implementation of these additional measures," they say.

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