Delaware DOC Suspends In-Person Prisoner Visitation, Free Phone Calls Added

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The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) is offering free inmate call time to facilitate community support during coronavirus response.

Effective today, the DOC and GTL, the Department’s vendor that provides inmate phone and video visitation services, are providing two free five-minute phone calls per week to all inmates at every Level V prison and Level IV Violation of Probation and Work Release facility. These free calls are being provided through the end of March to facilitate communication between individuals in DOC custody and their families as the Department temporarily suspends in-person visitation as a precaution to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 to its facilities.

“We know that family and community support is important to the wellbeing of the individuals in our custody, and even as we take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of coronavirus entering our facilities, we are taking steps to keep inmates connected with their families,” Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said. “That includes offering free call time each week to keep open the lines of communication between inmates and their loved ones.”

The Department of Correction offers a variety of phone and video visitation, and while visitation is suspended, the DOC will increase the use of video visitation as available. Inmates in DOC facilities initiate phone and video calls through pre-paid accounts managed by GTL. Family members can add funds to these account by phone, online or in kiosks located in DOC facilities. DOC strongly encourages family members at this time to add funds by using the online portal or by phone to help reduce the risk of community spread of coronavirus.

Along with the temporary suspension of in-person visitation, the DOC continues to take other measures, including enhanced screening of all those entering its facilities, to minimize the risk of community spread of the coronavirus to DOC facilities

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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