JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) Commissioner Burl Cain announced that all state prisons will reopen to visitation on November 1, 2021. MDOC stopped visitation in July 2021 because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
“The decision is based on discussions with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, community data from the Mississippi Department of Health and MDOC Medical Providers, as well as MDOC’s vaccine administration at each facility. COVID cases are trending down and we feel visitation is safe for inmates with the COVID protocols we have in place,” said Deputy Commissioner of Institutions Jeworski Mallett.
The following protocols will be in place:
- Social distancing will be required
- Face masks will be required
- Visitors will have temperatures checked at entry points
- Visitors will answer COVID-19 screening questions prior to entry
Leaders said visitation areas will also be sanitized and hand sanitizing stations will be available.
“Given the drop in COVID cases, it is appropriate and beneficial for inmates to be able to see their relatives and reopening will also allow for them to participate in more programs. We’re trying to return to normal but not too fast. Fortunately, we had some of the lowest rates of inmate COVID cases in the nation and it’s because we took the initiative to sanitize and vaccinate,” said Cain.