Monday, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) began phasing in non-contact visitation across its state-run prisons.
Officials say that maintaining in person connections with loved ones is critical to a person's success in prison. DPS&C has determined that as the COVID numbers inside the prisons 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.
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.
Visitation procedures include the following safety measures:
- All visitation will be non-contact
- Plexiglass barriers will separate the inmates and their visitors
- 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
- 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 are not required to be vaccinated in order to visit
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. 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.
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.
Officials say that the DPS&C continues to test proactively for COVID-19 in accordance with CDC and LDH guidance. 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.
Non-contact 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, February 21, 2022
Dixon Correctional Institute - 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center - 7 days a week, 8 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Rayburn Correctional Center - Tuesday & Wednesday (max. custody), Thursday - Sunday (medium and minimum custody), 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Allen Correctional Center - Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Louisiana State Penitentiary - Saturday & Sunday, 7 - 10 a.m. & 12 - 3 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.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
David Wade Correctional Center - Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women - at Hunt & Jetson - Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., at Louisiana State Penitentiary - Friday - Sunday (orderlies), 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. - 4:30 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
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. The DPS&C will announce to the media and the public any changes in regards to visitation and will post on the Department's COVID-19 webpage at doc.la.gov [r20.rs6.net].