(WFRV)- Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections (DOC) announces Monday, June 7, the return of in-person visits to inmates.
In collaboration with the State’s Department of Health (DHS), the DOC will allow in-person visits to return to facilities across the state beginning July 6.
The safety of DOC staff and people in DOC care has been the top priority of the organization. Following months of COVID-19 data, and discovering a substantial decrease in cases while a continuous climb in vaccinations have lead the two companies to allow in-person visitations to return.
Wisconsin’s DOC’s COVID-19 dashboard projects only 11 active cases throughout the DOC’s 37 institutions. The dashboard also shows 57% of the facilities population is fully vaccinated, and more than 90% of those who have not declined the vaccine have already received their first dose.
DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake is excited that in-person visits are returning and grateful people are choosing to get vaccinated. Saying, “the level of vaccination rates we are seeing in DOC institutions and Wisconsin communities allows in-person visitation to resume safely in these facilities, with precautions in place.”
Those precautions include:
- Modified or different visiting rooms that allow for appropriate physical distancing
- Cleaning protocols for visitation areas
- New entrance procedures for visitors, which will include a COVID-19 screening for temperature and symptoms conducted by security staff
- Masks will be worn by staff, persons in our care, and visitors age two and up, per CDC guidelines
- No sharing of food or drinks between visitors and persons in DOC care
The demand for in-person visits is expected to be high once they become available. Some inmates have gone nearly 18 months without seeing loved ones in person due to the pandemic. With this in mind, capacity in visitation areas have decreased.
However, DOC institutions are attempting to honor up to two face-to-face visits a week for each person at most facilities. Scheduling for in-person visits will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16. Visitors are asked to schedule visits two business days in advance.