DOC Eases Restrictions Allowing Children To Visit Inmates

As COVID-19 vaccination expands to children and as aggressive COVID-19 mitigation measures continue across Delaware’s correctional system the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) announced today that effective immediately in-person inmate visitation at all DOC facilities has been expanded to include children and youth under the age of 18. 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 DOC reminds the public that all in-person inmate visits must be scheduled in advance through the facility and all visits are subject to COVID-19 screening.

“With COVID-19 vaccination rates continuing to grow and as we continue to successfully mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission within our correctional facilities we are prepared at this time to expand in-person visitation to children,” said Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. “Along with phone and video visits, in-person visits are important for inmates and their loved ones, particularly during the holiday season.”

Commissioner Hudson emphasized that video visitation is available in all Delaware prison facilities and was expanded by the DOC early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Video visits have continued to be a safe and popular way to keep families connected and strengthen community supports over the past twenty months.

All in-person inmate visits were suspended for limited periods of time as community transmission of COVID-19 spiked, first in the spring of 2020 and starting again late last fall. Adult in-person inmate visits were most recently restarted in March, 2021 as vaccinations became available to DOC staff, inmates, and members of the community and as new cases of the virus dropped significantly in the community and inside DOC facilities. This week’s expansion of in-person visitation represents the first time children have been able to enter a DOC facility since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inmate visitation procedures and instructions are posted on the DOC website at Members of the community should carefully review this information as visitation procedures, rules and hours vary by facility.

The DOC continues to closely monitor COVID-19 data and changes in COVID-19 transmission in real time and reminds the public that in-person visitation is subject to change at any time.

Source: DOC