AUSTIN, Texas - Inmates will be allowed to have in-person visitation again. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) said in-person visitation will resume at all units beginning Monday, March 15.
On March 13, 2020, the TDCJ suspended visitation after a disaster declaration was issued by Governor Greg Abbott. The decision, while difficult, was necessary to limit the introduction of COVID-19 into correctional facilities, according to TDCJ.
The TDCJ believes it can safely resume limited face-to-face visits and access to volunteers with appropriate safety measures in place.
Visitors on official visitation lists may begin registering for Face 2 Face in-person visitation times starting Wednesday, March 10, at 8:00 a.m. by calling the unit of assignment of the inmate they would like to visit. In the coming days, the call-in scheduling system will be replaced by an on-line visit booking system, according to TDCJ.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) said in-person visitation will resume at all units beginning Monday, March 15.
Visits will be different than in the past
Initially, eligible inmates will be allowed two in-person visits per month. Inmates on medical isolation or restriction are prohibited from in-person visitation.
Prior to entry into the facility, visitors will be required to complete a 15-minute rapid COVID-19 test conducted by the agency. They will remain in their vehicles until the test is complete and individuals testing negative will be allowed to proceed into the facility.
To allow for social distancing, visits will consist of one adult visitor, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Visits will be one hour in length.
Video visits will not count against the number of in-person visits each month.
Visits will need to be scheduled in advance, but visitation times will be expanded to Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Families will be encouraged to call the day before the visit to verify if the visit is still scheduled and to arrive at least one hour in advance of their scheduled visit time. No contact will be allowed during visits and barriers will be in place.
No items can be exchanged. The entire visit seating area and phones will also be sanitized routinely with a 10% bleach solution or vital oxide.