CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Citing the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the community, the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) announced changes to its visitation policies.
Until further notice, in-person inmate visits have been suspended at all RIDOC facilities. The agency said it will reevaluate the situation in February, adding that video visits are available to inmates once a week at no charge.
With the emergence of the contagious omicron variant and people spending more time indoors due to the colder weather, there’s been an increase in the number of inmates and staff members testing positive for COVID-19, according to RIDOC.
“Fortunately, our high vaccination rates have meant that serious illness/hospitalizations have been rare,” RIDOC wrote in a Facebook post.
Attorney and clergy visits are not affected by the changes, RIDOC said.
Inmate visitation was previously suspended by the department due to COVID-19 back in March 2020.