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Louisiana will restart prison visits with COVID precautions

The Louisiana prison system will again start allowing people to visit inmates, nearly three months after the visits were stopped because of the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases.

Posted: Oct 16, 2021 4:08 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana prison system will again start allowing people to visit inmates, nearly three months after the visits were stopped because of the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections said in a news release that scheduled visitation will begin at some state-run prisons Monday, and will be phased in at other prisons through Oct. 30.

People will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. Face coverings, social distancing and other safety measures will be required.

For contact visitation, inmates and the visitors must be fully vaccinated. If they are not fully vaccinated, inmates and visitors must remain separated by a sturdy plastic screen.

The prison system originally stopped visitation from March 12, 2020, until March 13 of this year. It suspended visitation again on July 26.

The department said prisons may begin phasing in general reopening plans, which include volunteers for faith-based programming, and they may plan to increase participation in vocational and educational programs.

The department also said plans are being worked out to restart in-person visits between inmates and attorneys. Those have been done by phone and video calls.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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