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MDOC pauses visitation at state prisons amid rising COVID-19 cases

parchman mississippi
Photo courtesy of MDOC

Visitation at all Mississippi prisons has been suspended due to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the state.

Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain announced today that the suspension will remain in effect “until further notice to diminish the possibility of infection from the COVID Delta variant.”

“With two-thirds of the state still unvaccinated, we have to protect inmates from outbreaks on the outside,” Commissioner Cain said. “We can’t risk exposure to the highly-contagious Delta variant so we are redoubling our efforts again to sanitize and spray all facilities.  That worked the first time because Mississippi prisons had some of the fewest cases and by far the lowest number of COVID deaths of any other prison system in the southeast U.S.”

Mississippi’s vaccination rate remains among the lowest in the country at 34.2%, but MDOC detailed a robust effort to vaccinate the state’s 17,300 prisoners. 

“99-percent of inmates at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility have been fully vaccinated; 93-percent at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman; and 82-percent at South Mississippi Correctional Institute in Greene County,” a statement outlines. 

Commissioner Cain ended his statement by saying that resuming visitation depends entirely on how quickly the Delta variant is under control.

Visitation resumed back in May after it was initially suspended during the onset of the pandemic. 

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