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Limited In-Person Visitations To Resume In Arizona Prisons

The Arizona Department of Corrections announced it will be resuming in-person visitations in state prisons in a limited capacity. Visitations were originally suspended in March of 2020.

Now that COVID-19 cases are declining in state prisons, the department said in a statement in-person visitations will resume June 19.

But only prisoners in the highest level of an earned incentive program, who have also been fully vaccinated, will be eligible for the visitations.

Visits will be limited to two adult visitors and one minor child for one two-hour block of in-person visits per week.

Visitors are not required to be vaccinated but need to wear face masks.

Attorneys and volunteers will also be allowed back into the prisons.

Prisoner work programs that were halted due to the pandemic will restart in the first week of June.

More than 2,700 DOC employees and more than 35,000 prisoners contracted the virus. Sixty people incarcerated in state prisons have died from COVID-19.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.