Michigan Department of Corrections halts visitations at state prisons amid coronavirus concerns

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) has banned all in-person visitations at state prisons amid the state’s rapidly increasing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

“This was not a decision we arrived at lightly, as we understand and recognize the importance of family contact with the prison population,” said MDOC Director Heidi Washington. “Our primary concern has to be public safety and reducing the number of people who enter our facilities is a key factor in limiting the potential spread of this illness into our prisoner population.”

Update March 12, 2021: Michigan prisons resuming visits for first time in a year

Michigan prisons are taking measures to ensure the safety of their staff, prisoners and the public, officials said. Prisons are conducting screening questions and temperature checks on all employees before their shifts, and cleaning the facilities more frequently, according to officials.

Prison staff and visitors can sign up for informative alerts from their facility at MDOC’s website here.

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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.