No, You Can’t Visit Anyone in a Louisiana Prison Right Now
If you've got a friend or family member in a Louisiana state-run prison, it's going to be a little while before you get the chance to go visit them in person.
As of yesterday, January 6, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has suspended all prisoner visitation indefinitely.
What's Going On to Make Them Do That?
If you guessed COVID, you nailed it! According to DPS&C, they're trying to be proactive with latest surge of COVID-19 positive cases in Louisiana, so they've ended visitation "Out of an abundance of caution". The Department says they've taken this measure to protect staff and prisoner populations but will stay on top of the fluid situation to review and reconsider the need for the action.
There Is An Alternative Though
The Department has provided an alternative to in-person visitations and will offer two free phone calls per week to ensure inmates have continued connection to family and friends. In addition, video calling remains available for a fee.
To help prevent the spread of this disease within Louisiana's eight state-run prisons, the DPS&C continues COVID screening with temperature checks and questioning of anyone entering the state's prisons, including staff and vendors.
This Applies to Juveniles As Well As Adults
In a report from klfy.com, we learn this has also been extended to juvenile facilities:
The La. Office of Juvenile Justice announced this morning that it has also suspended in-person visitation at juvenile facilities statewide.
As part of the mask mandate, staff continue to wear masks, and prisoners are strongly encouraged to do so as well in order to protect themselves and others. The DPS&C has reminded its staff and inmates of social distancing and hand washing practices to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus. Staff who are sick with symptoms consistent with the flu or coronavirus are asked to stay home.