Kids allowed to visit inmates again after pandemic pause

December 1, 2021 GMT

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Children can now visit inmates at Delaware correctional facilities for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, correction officials said.

The Delaware Department of Correction announced in a news release Tuesday that in-person visits at all of its facilities have been expanded to include children and youth under 18. The department said it’s making the change as COVID-19 vaccination expands to include children and aggressive COVID-19 mitigation measures continue in the correctional system.

Visiting children must be accompanied by an adult visitor and inmate visits are limited to either one adult or one adult and one child.

The department said all in-person inmate visits must be scheduled in advance through the facility and all visits are subject to COVID-19 screening.

Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. emphasized that video visitation is available in all Delaware prison facilities and was expanded early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In-person inmate visits were suspended for limited periods of time as community COVID-19 cases spiked, first in the spring of 2020 and starting again last fall, the news release said. Adult in-person inmate visits resumed in March as vaccinations became available and as new cases dropped significantly in the community and inside facilities.