DOC suspends visits to Louisiana state prisons – The Observer

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Out of caution and in an effort to maintain health and safety regarding the latest wave of positive COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS & C) has indefinitely suspended prisoner visits starting January 6, 2022, in the eight prisons managed by the State of Louisiana. It comes a week after the ministry suspended volunteers from entering prisons due to increasing cases of COVID-19 statewide. The Department has taken this precautionary measure to protect its staff and prison populations and will continue to review and reconsider the need for these measures.

Instead of visiting, the Department will continue to offer two free phone calls per week to ensure detainees have an ongoing connection with family and friends. In addition, video calls remain available for a fee.

To help prevent the spread of this disease in Louisiana’s eight state-run prisons, the DPS & C is continuing COVID testing with temperature checks and questioning of anyone entering state prisons, including the staff and salespeople.

As part of the mask mandate, staff continue to wear masks, and inmates are strongly encouraged to do so as well in order to protect themselves and others. The DPS & C has reminded its staff and inmates of social distancing and hand washing practices to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus. Staff who are ill with symptoms compatible with the flu or the coronavirus are asked to stay at home.

About 83 percent of prisoners held in Louisiana state-run prisons have been voluntarily vaccinated, and the Department continues to make vaccines and vaccine boosters available to all inmates.

The DPS & C, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, are following CDC guidelines and continue to monitor the situation and update its response as necessary.

Stay informed of decisions affecting state prisons by visiting the Department’s website at doc.la.gov.


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