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Illinois correctional centers resume visitations after being halted for a year amid COVID

Illinois correctional centers resume visitations after being halted for a year amid COVID

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The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is resuming in-person visitation at its correctional facilities statewide that were halted because of the pandemic.

Visitations will start at Lincoln, Logan and Menard correctional centers on May 3. It will be the first time in a year incarcerated people will have the opportunity to see loved ones.

IDOC acting director Rob Jeffreys said his top concern was health and well-being.

"Maintaining family connection is a vital component of an incarcerated person's mental and emotional well-being," said Jeffreys.

"Because of the aggressive measures the department has taken to mitigate COVID-19 within our facilities, IDOC is one of the few correctional systems in the nation now reopening to visitors."

The IDOC is implementing a multi-phase plan to resume in-person visits. Phase one limits the number of visitors per a two-hour time slot to ensure social distancing measures are closely followed. For now, inmates are permitted two visits per month.

Everyone who enters an IDOC correctional facility must be symptom screened, temperature checked and provided a surgical mask. Plexiglass barriers have been installed on visiting tables, which are spaced apart to allow for proper social distancing. Visiting rooms and restrooms are deep cleaned between visits. IDOC is using an online system to schedule visits and limit the number of visitors permitted at one time.

Visits will resume Monday at Graham, Taylorville, Jacksonville, Dixon, Centralia and Stateville correctional centers; Stateville Northern Reception Center; Elgin Treatment Center; and Fox Valley, Crossroads and North Lawndale adult transition centers.

Also on April 26 at Pinckneyville, Sheridan, Big Muddy River, Pontiac, Shawnee, Vienna, Hill, Lawrence, Illinois River, Robinson and Vandalia correctional centers will open for visits. So will Joliet Treatment Center, Peoria Adult Transition Center, and Kewanee and Murphysboro life skills re-entry centers.

Other correctional centers opening May 3 include Southwestern Illinois, Decatur, Western Illinois, and Danville.

More information on the resumption of in-person visitation is available on the Department's web page at https://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/facilities/Pages/VisitationRules.aspx.

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