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DOC scraps plans to allow family visitation at prisons due to rising COVID-19 cases

(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:24 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DOC) is scrapping plans that had been in the works for about a month to allow family visits to prisons during the week of Thanksgiving due to rising COVID-19 cases across the state and in its prison system.

Infection rates of COVID-19 have been lower across Louisiana’s prison system in recent weeks, but officials decided it was safer to not allow visitors at this time, DOC spokesperson Ken Pastorick said.

DOC has banned visits from family members and attorneys at its prisons due to COVID-19 since March 12. Officials with DOC had been planning to allow family visits to resume at prisons during the week of Thanksgiving in an effort to boost morale among inmates but decided against it after Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the state was in its third surge of COVID-19 cases.

Officials had started making the visitation plans before COVID-19 cases started to rise again. It is unclear when DOC will allow family visitation at its prisons again.

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