In-person visitation to reopen for state correctional facilities
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Mary Noble announced May 25 that facilities operated by Department of Corrections (DOC) and Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will return to allowing in-person visitation starting the week of June 20.
“One more step toward reopening the commonwealth is resuming in-person visitation at our state prisons and youth detention and residential centers,” said Gov. Beshear.
In-person visitations were temporarily stopped by the DOC and DJJ in March 2020 as a precaution taken to prevent COVID-19 from entering and spreading through the facilities and the communities where they are located.
Vaccinated family and friends of individuals who are housed within state custody at either a DOC or DJJ facility have to schedule an appointment to visit their loved one before arrival. The DOC and DJJ‘s websites will provide available visitation dates and times at each facility beginning June 4.
It will be required for all visitors of both DOC and DJJ facilities to present proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination card before being admitted, as well as the requirement to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times while inside the facilities. Each inmate and youth will be allowed only two visitors at a time, and all visitors will undergo a temperature and symptom check as they arrive. A complete list of visitation safety guidelines will be available on DOC and DJJ’s websites.
“We understand that an important aspect to the successful rehabilitation of the justice-involved population is in-person visitation with family and friends,” said Secretary Noble. “It has been a long 15 months in the fight against COVID-19, and our staff has worked diligently to do everything possible to keep those in custody safe and healthy. While we are ready to resume in-person visitation we must continue to follow the CDC guidelines for congregated settings and are asking that all visitors adhere strictly to these guidelines.”
Virtual visits will continue to be offered by the DOC and DJJ at all facilities for the foreseeable future.
As of May 25, 76% of adult inmates housed in state custody have been vaccinated. DOC continues to offer the COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals at the time of intake at a state prison, and for any inmates who originally declined but changed their minds.
The DJJ is working with the Department for Public Health and various local health departments to obtain the necessary health care forms and legal consents to vaccinate youth within their custody who are 12 years and older, and considered long-term detainees and housed within residential placement