The Michigan Department of Corrections announced today it is stopping in-person visits at all prisons effective immediately to protect inmates and employees from contracting, or spreading, the new coronavirus.
There have been no confirmed cases of the virus inside Michigan’s prisons, said MDOC Director Heidi Washington in a statement today.
“This was not a decision we arrived at lightly, as we understand and recognize the importance of family contact with the prison population,” Ms. Washington said. “Our primary concern has to be public safety and reducing the number of people who enter our facilities is a key factor in limiting the potential spread of this illness into our prisoner population.”
Outside volunteers, tours and other groups are also lumped into the group of persons who will not be allowed entry into state prisons.
The agency stated it will continue to monitor the situation to determine when visitation will be restored. During the period without visits, the department is working with its vendors that provide communication services to the prison population on enhanced services that may be able to be offered.