DOC suspends visits

Published 11:06 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

There are still no known cases of COVID-19 among offenders and staff in Virginia’s prisons. In an effort to keep the new coronavirus from reaching the state’s correctional facilities, the Virginia DOC has announced that volunteers will not be allowed to enter correctional facilities until further notice.

Last week, the Virginia DOC canceled all offender visitation until further notice. While visitation at correctional facilities is canceled for now, off-site video visitation, facilitated through Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI), remains available.

As of Thursday’s declaration of a state of emergency by Governor Ralph Northam, the VADOC suspended offender intake from local jails for 30 days. Offender transfers and movement between VADOC facilities has been suspended until further notice.

Offender medical transports will continue as scheduled unless an appointment is canceled by the affected provider.

JPay and VADOC have worked together to credit each offender’s JPay account with two free JPay stamps per week during this time.

Contractors may still enter VADOC facilities to perform their contractual duties.

As a large public safety agency, the VADOC is accustomed to managing communicable diseases. The DOC is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation, staying current with information and guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If an offender were to have a positive COVID-19 test, just like with the flu, VADOC would report that case to the Virginia Department of Health and follow their guidance. The affected offender’s facility would be locked down.

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