BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) has announced they will be suspending their prisoner visitation indefinitely starting January 6, 2022, at the eight state-run prisons in Louisiana.
In a release from the DOC, they say, “Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to maintain health and safety concerning the latest surge of COVID-19 positive cases in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has suspended prisoner visitation indefinitely effective January 6, 2022.”
The DOC went on to say, last week they chose to suspend volunteers from entering the prisons due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the state. The DOC says they are taking every precautionary measure to protect the staff and the prisoner populations, and they will continue to review and reconsider the need for these safety measures.
The DOC says in the meantime while visitations are suspended the DOC will continue to offer two free phone calls per week to ensure the prison population is able to have a connection to their family and friends. The DOC says that the video calls are still available for free as well.
The DOC will also continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state-run prisons by using COVID screening with temperature checks and questioning anyone who enters the prisons, including staff and vendors.
DOC is still requiring staff to wear masks and the prison population is being strongly encouraged to do so as well to protect themselves and others. The DOC went on to say they have about 83% of their prison population who have voluntarily been vaccinated and they continue to make vaccinations and booster shots available.
If you would like to stay informed about decisions that will affect the state’s prison population, you can visit their website: doc.la.gov.