MDOC suspends all visitation due to coronavirus threat

The Mississippi Department of Corrections says much of the unrest is gang-related.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections says much of the unrest is gang-related.(WLOX)
Published: Mar. 12, 2020 at 12:50 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - Visitation at all Mississippi Department of Corrections facilities has been suspended as state officials ramp up precautions against the coronavirus.

Effective immediately, MDOC said visitors will not be allowed. This temporary measure is being taken until further notice in order to establish sanitation and prevention protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This is a precautionary measure to protect staff, inmates, volunteers, and visitors from potential exposure to the coronavirus, said a release from MDOC.

Attorneys and essential visitors will be allowed, and the area of visits will be sanitized upon completion of each visit. Additional parameters will be determined as protocols are established.

“We acknowledge any inconveniences that inmate family members and others may experience from the temporary suspension of visitation,” said Deputy Commissioner Jeworski Mallett, who manages state, private, and regional prisons in the state. “However, these actions are necessary for public safety and protecting our inmates, their loved ones, and our staff.”

Also, the Corrections Department is reinforcing common health practices based on preventive measures recommended by the Mississippi Department of Health in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the MDOC prison system.

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