DOC Reinstates Visitation at Louisiana's State-Run Prisons

Photo courtesy of MGN Online

Measures taken to protect inmates and visitors

Posted: Mar 11, 2021 3:40 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. – This week, the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) will phase in visitation at Louisiana's state-run prisons, beginning Saturday, March 13, 2021, at some facilities and Monday, March 15, 2021, for others. As Louisiana moves into Phase 3 and the COVID-19 vaccine availability increases, the DOC continues its work with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to maintain safe operations during the pandemic. This includes the development and implementation of reopening plans following LDH’s COVID-19 guidance. Visitation schedules and procedures will vary by prison depending on the space available to offer safe visitation.

This week, 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:

Visitors will be required to follow social distancing guidelines
All visitation will be non contact
Plexiglass barriers will separate the inmates and their visitors
In addition to usual screening at the gate, visitors will be screened for temperature and asked questions concerning their health and potential exposure to COVID-19
Visitors must wear protective face coverings at all times during the visit
Only two visitors will be allowed per prisoner
Hand sanitizer will be available at each visiting area
Prison staff will sanitize the visitation areas and transport vehicles between each sessions/use.
Visitors are not required to be vaccinated in order to visit

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

Visitation will be done dorm by dorm or unit by unit on a rotating bases. 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.:

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Allen Correctional Center - 7 days a week,, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women at Hunt, Jetson, & Louisiana State Penitentiary - Saturdays & Sundays, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Raymond Laborde Correctional Center - Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Monday, March 15, 2021

David Wade Correctional Center - Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Dixon Correctional Institute - 7 days a week, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center - 7 days a week, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Rayburn Correctional Center - 7 days a week, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Louisiana State Penitentiary - Wednesday - Sunday, 7 - 10 a.m. & 1 - 4 p.m.

Visitors may contact the facility’s Visitation Department for more information at the following numbers and times:

Allen Correctional Center - 9 - 11 a.m. & 1 - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (337) 369-6029
David Wade Correctional Center - 8:30 - 11 a.m. & 12:30 - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at (318) 927-0400
Dixon Correctional Center - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (225) 634-6291
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center - 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday - Sunday, 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 through Friday, at (225) 655-2343
Rayburn Correctional Center - 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (985) 661-6380
Raymond Laborde Correctional Center - 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, at (318) 876-2891 ext. 268

The Department is currently working on plans to bring back 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 implementation of these additional measures. The DOC will announce to the media an the public any changes in regards to visitation, and will post on the Department's COVID-19 webpage at doc.la.gov.

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