TRENTON – Out of an abundance of caution, the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) is temporarily suspending visits for the next 30 days, effective at 5 p.m. today, to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“We recognize that families are a critical support to the population in our care,” said NJDOC Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, Esq. “However, ensuring the health and safety of our inmate population, residents, staff and the public are of paramount importance during this public health crisis.”
In an effort to mitigate the impact of this temporary measure, the Department is increasing access to other forms of communication with families, including:
- expanding inmate and resident access to additional phone calls, free-of-charge;
- expanding inmate and resident access to additional JPay kiosk usage and;
- providing the inmate and Residential Community Release Program population access to free postage.
Legal visits are not impacted by the suspension.
This latest action is part of a series of measures the Department is taking to address the pandemic, including:
- COVID-19 related health screenings at intake of inmates as part of regular health assessments;
- Temperature scans conducted by medical staff donned with personal protective equipment, of all individuals entering NJDOC facilities, with follow-up survey questions, as needed, tracking travel activity and contact with individuals impacted by COVID-19;
- Restrictions on the transfer of county inmates that present symptoms of illness;
- Enhanced sanitization and education efforts to mitigate the spread of germs and increased availability of hand sanitizer to staff and visitors;
- Medically supported personal protective equipment, where and when determined to be medically necessary;
- Advanced preparation of medical quarantines for impacted inmates to be utilized if prescribed by medical personnel;
- Information sharing with county jails.
For the latest information on COVID-19, state residents are encouraged to visit nj.gov/health/coronavirus or dial the state’s 24/7 hotline at 1800.222.1222.