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TDCJ News

Visitation Scheduling for September to Open

 

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is continuing to make changes to the resumption of inmate visitation.

Beginning August 31, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. visitation appointments may be made for September 2021 using the online visitation portal. If you have not registered for the portal visit our website to begin that process. You may also call the unit to schedule a visit this month.

https://visitation.tdcj.texas.gov/Visitation/

As of July 1, contact visitation resumed for all inmates who are eligible to receive contact visits and have received the COVID vaccination. Contact visits will be two-hours in length and may consist of 2 adult and 2 child visitors at a time. Children of all ages will be allowed to visit inmates accompanied by an adult. Each inmate will be allowed two contact visits per month. Each inmate is allowed two visits total per month contact or non-contact and those visits MAY be on back-to-back days. Each non-contact visit is one hour in length. All visits must be pre-scheduled. Visitors must still be on the approved visitation lists of the inmate to visit.

Visitation times are 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors over the age of 13 who wish to provide proof of vaccination more than 14 days prior to the visit will not be required to take a COVID rapid test before entry to the unit. All others will have to take a COVID rapid test before entering the unit. Masks are still required to be worn in most locations.

At some units that have achieved a total of 70% or higher vaccination rates (percentage combines inmates and staff). At those units masks are NO LONGER required. That includes visitors.

Units will be evaluated weekly for their vaccination percentage and when units achieve 70% participation they will be added.

Visitors are 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. Vending Machines are now operational, available, and items may be exchanged between visitors and inmates. The entire visit seating area and phones will be sanitized routinely with a 10% bleach solution or vital oxide.

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. Through an aggressive testing campaign and strong mitigation efforts, the agency has seen a significant reduction of coronavirus cases in the inmate population and is prepared to begin allowing limited visitation.

Understanding the importance of communication with loved ones, the agency expanded access to the offender telephone system, introduced video visitation which will remain, and implemented other creative opportunities to keep incarcerated individuals and their families connected during the pandemic. The TDCJ believes it can safely resume limited face-to-face visits and access to volunteers with appropriate safety measures in place.