PRESS RELEASE: DOC resumes contact visitation and Extended Family Visiting
Released July 22, 2021
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections’ (DOC) Safe Start Plan will go into effect August 15, 2021. DOC Secretary Cheryl Strange has announced contact visitation in prisons will resume on that date and the age restriction for visitors will be eliminated. Up to three approved visitors may visit an individual at one time, starting on August 15, 2021.
The department will also extend the duration for each prison visit session from one hour to three hours and expand visiting cohorts at most facilities. Visitors who scheduled one hour visits prior to the July 15, 2021 announcement will be contacted directly to transition to the three hour visit by the facility scheduler.
Visitors must provide proof of vaccination or will be required to take a rapid antigen test on the date of the contact visit and comply with COVID-19 precautions. The rapid antigen testing requirement applies to all unvaccinated visitors, including children of all ages. All visitors and incarcerated individuals are required to wear a DOC provided mask at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Additional details and specific guidance for visitation rules as well as COVID-19 precautions can be found here.
Extended Family Visit (EFV) scheduling will resume September 1, 2021. Scheduling preference may be given to those who had visits scheduled prior to the suspension of EFVs in 2020 due to COVID-19. Additional details and specific guidance for EFV visitation rules and COVID-19 precautions can be found here.
Please check the visiting webpage regularly for updates.
“The pandemic has been hard on everyone,” said Strange. “We all understand how important visitation is and the role it plays in the health and wellbeing of those in our care and custody. The health and safety of our staff, incarcerated individuals and their families continues to be our priority, and with these added protections I am glad that we are able to move forward and ensure those important connections and moments continue.”