Visitation suspended at Mississippi prisons due to COVID-19 concerns

Coronavirus

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – According to Mississippi Today reporter Brittany Brown, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has cancelled visitation at all of its prisons until further notice. This comes after a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state due to the Delta Variant.

In May 2021, visitation was reinstated at Mississippi prisons after being suspended since March 2020.

“With two-thirds of the state still unvaccinated, we have to protect inmates from outbreaks on the outside,” said Cain. “We can’t risk exposure to the highly-contagious Delta variant so we are redoubling our efforts again to sanitize and spray all facilities. That worked the first time because Mississippi prisons had some of the fewest cases and by far the lowest number of COVID deaths of any other prison system in the southeast U.S.”

In a letter to MDOC staff, obtained by Brown, Commissioner Burl Cain said visitation will be temporarily suspended. He also said MDOC will quarantine inmates prior to transfer, and masks will be worn by staff and inmates while indoors.

Cain stated MDOC will also re-establish quarantine housing and will hold inmates a minimum of 10 days before transferring them to other facilities. He said the reopening of the Reception and Diagnostic Center at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) will be done in a limited and controlled manner.

According to the letter, routine screenings and temperatures checks will be performed daily before each inmate leaves the facility.

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