TDOC, MDOC suspend inmate visitation

Coronavirus

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State prison facilities in Tennessee and Mississippi have temporarily closed visitation for inmates to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

The Tennessee Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Department of Corrections both announced the measures Thursday.

TDOC released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying in part, “The Tennessee Department of Correction is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our staff, inmates, visitors and volunteers. We are actively monitoring COVID-19 developments and will continue to follow the guidance of the Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.”

TDOC says it will conduct “non-invasive screening” onsite for staff entering TDOC facilities. TDOC also says it is exploring alternative opportunities for inmates to maintain communication with family and friends.

Those who are on community supervision will be contacted by their probation or parole officers for guidelines regarding reporting.

Volunteer services have been suspended as well.

MDOC said it is setting sanitation protocols to prevent the spread of the virus to protect staff, inmates, volunteers and visitors.

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