(BOP) - The BOP recognizes the importance for inmates to maintain relationships with friends and family. During modified operations in response to COVID-19, the BOP suspended social visitation, however, inmates were afforded 500 (vs. 300) telephone minutes per month at no charge to help compensate for the suspension of social visits. As a modification of the BOP's Phase Nine Action Plan, and in accordance with specific guidance designed to mitigate risks, social visits are being reinstated, where possible to maintain the safety of our staff, inmates, visitors, and communities.
Each individual institution has made plans consistent with their institutional resources (including physical space) and will continuously monitor their visiting plan, and make prompt modifications, as necessary, to effectively manage COVID-19. Such modification may include limiting or postponing visitation, providing visitation by appointment, or other adjustments as appropriate.
All visits will be non-contact and social distancing between inmates and visitors will be enforced, either via the use of plexiglass, or similar barriers, or physical distancing (i.e., 6 feet apart). Inmates in quarantine or isolation will not participate in social visiting. The number of visitors allowed in the visiting room will be based on available space when utilizing social distancing. The frequency and length of visits will be established to ensure all inmates have an opportunity to visit at least twice a month. Visitors will be symptom screened and temperature checked; visitors who are sick or symptomatic will not be allowed to visit. Both inmates and visitors must wear appropriate face coverings (e.g. no bandanas) at all times and will perform hand hygiene just before and after the visit. Tables, chairs and other high-touch surfaces will be disinfected between visitation groups; all areas, to include lobbies, will be cleaned following the completion of visiting each day.
The BOP is committed to protecting the health and welfare of those individuals entrusted to our care, as well as our staff, their families, and the communities where we live and work. It is our highest priority to continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities; therefore, every CDC recommended precaution will be incorporated into our revised visiting procedures.
More information about each institution's revised visiting procedures and schedule will be forthcoming and posted on www.bop.gov.