The Department of Corrections is advising the public of a series of updated procedures for visitors to the facilities.
A Department spokesperson explained that the guidelines have been put in place to protect Corrections Officers and staff, inmates and visitors from the coronavirus.
Of particular note, all correction facilities, including Westgate, will now require Government’s official COVID-19 SafeKey for all open visits.
And those planning to schedule a visit to an inmate should email their verified SafeKey to the respective facility:
Ø Westgate – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Co-Ed Facility – email@example.com
Ø Farm Facility – firstname.lastname@example.org
A Department spokesperson said, “For the most part, our existing visitation policy will remain in effect, however we have taken the step of adding some new guidelines to our policies. These new modifications are effective immediately now that the facilities are open to receive visitors.
“Of particular note, at all facilities SafeKey will be required for all inmate visits. Persons looking to visit, should plan ahead. Therefore, all SafeKeys must be received one (1) day prior to your scheduled visit. Any SafeKey received the day of a visit, may not be processed on time and may result in your visit being rescheduled or converted to a closed visit if it can be facilitated on that date and time.
“We are advising members of the public to ensure their SafeKey is valid until the date of their scheduled visit. Visitors must present their identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.) for verification purposes. Children under the age of sixteen (16) are permitted access to the facility only if the parent or guardian has a valid SafeKey.”
The Department of Corrections also advised of the following guidelines which are currently in place:
Ø All visits must be scheduled visits. No exceptions will be made. If you need to reschedule your visit, please advise us at least 24 hours in advance.
Ø All visits will be limited to forty-five (45) minutes duration time, extended visits are not permitted at this time due to the need to clean and sanitize the visiting rooms.
Ø All visitors must be screened prior to entering the facility. This screening process will include temperature checks and the completion of a brief questionnaire related to COVID-19. If the temperature check is 100.0 degrees or higher, the visit will not occur and will be rescheduled for a later date and time. The Visiting Officer will contact you when the visit can be rescheduled.
Ø A mask will be required for all visitors over the age of two (2) years old.
Ø There will be no activities provided for children in the visiting room.
Ø Visits will be limited to two (2) family members and is only opened for immediate family members i.e. mother, father, children, sisters, brothers, grandparents and mother of the child(ren). At this time, visits are not opened to the general public, i.e. best friends, co-workers.
Ø Visitors will be allowed to come into the facility 15 minutes before their scheduled time to go through the screening process.
Ø Each visitor must comply with a COVID-19 screening and temperature check. As mentioned, if the temperature check is 100.0 or above, the visit will be rescheduled.
Ø Refusal to complete any portion of this screening process will result in the cancelation of the visit.
Ø Visitors must enter the facility wearing a mask and must wear the mask at all times whilst in the facility.
Ø Visitors must provide their own mask. Failure to have a mask, may result in your visit being canceled.
Ø Physical distancing is to be adhered to. Visitors are not to come in contact with the inmates, there should be no hugging, no touching, no kissing and no contact of any kind. A distance of 6 feet must be maintained at all times. Failure to do so, will result in the visit being terminated.
If members of the public have any questions, they should contact the facility where their visit has been scheduled:
Ø Westgate Correctional Facility – 234-0555
Ø Co-Ed Facility – 297-1280
Ø Farm Facility – 297-1280
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