LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– It’s been months without visits for inmates in Michigan’s correctional facilities due to COVID-19 but The Michigan Department of Corrections is working to change that.
The department has now launched a new video visitation pilot to offer an avenue for those incarcerated and their families to safely connect during the pandemic.
Video visitation successfully started Monday (October 12th) at the Parnall Correctional Facility. Online scheduling is now also underway at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility. Video visitation is expected to start there at the end of the week.
The pilot program will roll out to five other facilities in the next month. Those facilities include Chippewa, Ionia, Richard A. Handlon and Women’s Huron Valley correctional facilities, Duane Waters Health Center and the C-Unit of Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center.
Visits can be scheduled 72 to 48 hours in advance and are structured to last 20 minutes each. There is a cost of $3.20 that must be paid for in advance by the person scheduling the visit.
Online scheduling will also be available for in-person visiting once it has been determined those visits can safely begin again. At this time, a date has not been set for when in-person visiting will resume, and the department continues to monitor the status of the virus around the state to determine when it might be safe to do so.
To protect the health of staff, prisoners, and the public, the MDOC suspended visitation at correctional facilities statewide on March 13.
Approved visitors should go to https://midoc.gtlvisitme.com/app to set up their visits and find more information about compatible devices and technology.