Inmates Who’ve Gotten A COVID Shot Will Be Able To Have Visitors, Starting In July

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.

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