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Coronavirus Published 03.17.2020 Updated 2:00 P.M. 01.08.2021

How Prisons in Each State Are Restricting Visits Due to Coronavirus

As COVID-19 spread earlier this year, prison facilities across the country suspended visits from family and lawyers. Several months into the pandemic, some states are easing those restrictions. We’re rounding up the changes as they occur.

Some states are gradually resuming in-person court proceedings, though reopening plans can differ greatly between districts. Visit the National Center for State Courts, which is tracking the court opening policies in detail.

Have you tried to visit a person in prison or jail recently? Tell us about it here.

13 corrections systems have suspended all visitation
8 corrections systems have resumed visitation with additional precautions and limits

All visits suspended

Alabama

All visitation, including legal visits, has been suspended since March 13, 2020. Urgent legal meetings are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Alaska

All visitation, including legal visits, has been suspended since March 13, 2020.

Arizona

Visitation has been suspended since March 13, 2020. Legal visits are also suspended.

Arkansas

All visitation, including legal visits, has been suspended since March 16, 2020. On Dec. 12, Arkansas began to allow limited visits to prisoners in four facilities, but those visits were again suspended on Dec. 30.

California

Normal visitation has been suspended since March 13, 2020, and legal visits suspended since April 7. Overnight family visits have been suspended since March 16.

Georgia

All visitation, including legal visits, has been suspended since March 13, 2020.

Louisiana

Personal visits has been suspended since March 12, 2020. Legal visits are also suspended, but exceptions may be made at the discretion of the warden.

Montana

Visitation has been suspended since March 13, 2020. Legal visits are also suspended.

Nevada

All visitation, including legal visits, has been suspended since March 7, 2020.

New Mexico

All visits, including contact, non-contact and legal visits have been suspended since March 16, 2020.

Tennessee

Personal visits were suspended on March 12, 2020, as were legal visits, though wardens could grant special requests for in-person access. On Oct. 3, Tennessee reopened three prisons for limited visitation and later a fourth. On Dec. 1, visitation at all prisons was again suspended.

Texas

Personal visits have been suspended since March 13, 2020. Legal visits are also suspended, though some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for Death Row prisoners with execution dates set.

Virginia

Personal visits have been suspended since March 13, 2020. Legal visits are also suspended.

Regular visits suspended, but legal visits allowed

Visits resumed with limitations

Connecticut

Personal visits were suspended on March 13, 2020. Legal visits were allowed, but officials strongly recommend communicating by phone instead. On Oct. 15, Connecticut began to resume limited, pre-scheduled, non-contact visits.

District of Columbia

Washington, D.C., sends its prisoners to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where all visitation, including legal visits, were suspended on March 13, 2020, though attorneys could be approved for an in-person visit on a case-by-case basis. On Oct. 3, some federal prisons began to reopen for non-contact personal visits, with restrictions.

Florida

Personal visits were suspended on March 11, 2020, but legal visits were allowed. On Oct. 2, Florida began to allow limited visits with some restrictions.

Minnesota

Personal visits were suspended on March 12, 2020. Legal visits are allowed, but they will not be face-to-face visits. On July 22, the state resumed limited personal visits at prisons that have not had two positive cases in the previous two weeks. On Nov. 30, the last prison was closed to visitors due to a rise in cases. On Jan. 6, 2021, visitation resumed at one Minnesota prison.

Missouri

Personal visits were suspended March 12, 2020, but legal visits were allowed. On June 25, visits resumed at 3 prisons, with some precautions. One of these facilities later had to stop visits while others resumed them.

Nebraska

Personal visits were suspended on March 16, 2020. Legal visits are allowed, but attorneys will be screened on entry. On July 15, a limited number of non-contact visits began for those who pre-registered, but visits were again suspended on Aug. 7. On Dec. 15, limited visitation resumed at five prisons.

New Hampshire

All visitation, including legal visits, were suspended on March 16, 2020. Starting on Aug. 10, limited personal and attorney visits resumed.

North Carolina

Personal visits were suspended on March 13, 2020, but legal and pastoral visits were allowed. On Oct. 1, North Carolina began to allow visits with significant restrictions.

Federal

All visitation, including legal visits, were suspended by the Federal Bureau of Prisons on March 13, 2020, though attorneys could be approved for an in-person visit on a case-by-case basis. On Oct. 3, some federal prisons began to reopen for non-contact personal visits, with restrictions.

This is produced in partnership with the Associated Press.

Sources State prison systems

Graphic by Katie Park and Tom Meagher

Reporting by Cary Aspinwall, Keri Blakinger, Jake Bleiberg, Andrew R. Calderón, Maurice Chammah, Andrew DeMillo, Eli Hager, Jamiles Lartey, Claudia Lauer, Nicole Lewis, Weihua Li, Humera Lodhi, Colleen Long, Tom Meagher, Joseph Neff, Alysia Santo, Beth Schwartzapfel, Damini Sharma, Colleen Slevin, Christie Thompson, Abbie VanSickle and Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Additional development by Gabe Isman