Des Moines, Iowa — Inmates in Iowa prisons who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to have in-person visitors, starting next month.
Iowa Department of Corrections director Beth Skinner describes it as a slow opening.
Inmates who are allowed to have visitors, but who have not agreed to get a COVID shot, will be able to continue using the video system for visitations according to Cord Overton, a spokesman for the agency.
Prison officials plan to set up a scheduling system.
State officials say nearly 59 percent of the inmates in Iowa prisons are fully vaccinated.
Prison visitors will not be required to show they’ve gotten a Covid shot. Studies have found family visits reduced depression among female and juvenile inmates. In-person visits also were found to reduce rule-breaking within the prison AND reduced recidivism once an inmate was paroled.