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California Prison Visitations Will Happen Soon Via Video

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Friday that state prisons will soon offer video visits after the suspension of in-person visitation since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

by Molly Burke, The Sacramento Bee / November 23, 2020
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(TNS) — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Friday that state prisons will soon offer video visits after the suspension of in-person visitation since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The program to virtually connect incarcerated people with friends and family will launch by Thanksgiving weekend for five prisons and become available statewide by the end of the year.

Eligible inmates will be allowed a free 30-minute video visit every 30 days beginning Nov. 28 for San Quentin State PrisonCalifornia Institution for Men, Mule Creek State PrisonValley State Prison and Central California Women's Facility.

Visitors will be able to make an appointment by following instructions on the CDCR website between Saturday morning and Monday evening for the following weekend.

Inmates will use laptops and desktop computers in designated visiting areas, following safety guidelines, including social distancing and sanitation of shared equipment. The video visits will be secure due to encrypted communication, with CDCR ensuring only approved visitors join the call.

Visitors will be required to follow normal visitation rules and will need the necessary technology and internet to join.

CDCR had been considering re-opening in-person visitation with safety precautions, but the most recent increase in COVID-19 cases prevented that. The department pursued virtual options after consulting health professionals to decide to continue with the suspension of in-person visits.

Communication by phone, mail and email remains available at some prisons.

(c)2020 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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