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MDOC Resumes In-Person Visitations at State Prisons

Contact: Chris Gautz, MDOC Public Information Officer

(517) 256-3790




MDOC Resumes In-Person Visitations at State Prisons

With enhanced safety precautions in place, in-person visits will return on March 26


Lansing, Mich. -  The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) will resume in-person visiting of prisoners effective March 26. This comes after the department ceased in-person visiting in March of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We recognize how important in-person visitation is to our prison population," said MDOC Director Heidi Washington. "Connections with family and the community lead to greater offender success. With the continuation of vaccines and cases within the MDOC on a steady decline the department is prepared to provide in-person visits without jeopardizing the safety and wellbeing of our inmates and staff."

The MDOC has taken a series of safety precautions to ensure in-person visits can resume safely. Prior to entering the facility, visitors will participate in the MDOC screening process which includes a temperature check and an antigen rapid test. Visitors will be asked to store their personal masks in the lockers provided and the MDOC will provide them with a new mask that must be worn during their visit. The prisoner taking part in the visit will also take an antigen rapid test prior to the visit as well.

During visits, interactions will be modified. Elevated health and safety protocols are in place and include hand sanitizer and plexiglass which serves as a divider between the prisoner and their visitor. One embrace between the prisoner and their visitors is permitted at the beginning and end of each visit. No other physical contact is permitted at this time.

Approved visitors must schedule their visits in advance and will have a two-hour time limit. Visitors are required to schedule their visit at least 72 hours in advance of their scheduled visit, but not more than 96 hours prior to the visit. Information about how to schedule visits will be available soon on the MDOC website Once visitors have scheduled their visits, they should monitor the MDOC website to ensure the facility is not in quarantine, or the housing unit of the prisoner they wish to visit is not in quarantine.

Following the suspension of in-person visits on March 13, 2020, the MDOC worked to ensure prisoners had access to several free calls and JPay messages per week after discussions with our communications providers. Also last year the department also began implementing video visitation for prisoners and their loved ones and soon it will be available at all prison facilities. This service has allowed those incarcerated and their families a safe way to stay connected during the pandemic. Video visitation will continue despite a return to in-person visitation.

The department will continue to monitor the situation to determine when changes can be made to the in-person visit experience. The health and safety of MDOC staff, the prisoner population and the public remain the top priority.