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TDCJ News

August Now Open for Visitation Scheduling

 

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

As of July 1, contact visitation will resume 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.

Visitation times remain from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Appointments for August may be made starting at 8:00 a.m. Friday, July 30, 2021, by calling the unit of assignment.

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.

There are 11 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.

The units are Briscoe, Daniel, Duncan, Fort Stockton, Huntsville, Jester III, Lynaugh, Mountain View, Pack, Ramsey, and Terrell.

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

Registration for visits may now be made for the month of August by calling the unit of assignment of the inmate you would like to visit. Visitors must still be on the approved visitation lists of the inmate to visit.

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.