Philadelphia prisons to allow in-person visits for fully vaccinated inmates

Prison gerrymandering
REUTERS/Mark Makela

For the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Philadelphia prisons will allow in-person visits for fully vaccinated inmates starting Monday, Nov. 15.

According to the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, one adult and one child (aged 11 to 17) will be permitted per visit to ensure social distancing. The visits will require 48 hours notice to facilitate and visitors must undergo a temperature screening upon arrival and will be required to wear a mask during the entire visit.

“The Department of Prisons has been relentless in its strategy to lessen the spread of COVID-19 inside its facilities in order to keep inmates and PDP staff safe,” said Prison Commissioner Blanche Carney in a statement. “That mitigation resulted in the suspension of visits to keep the inmate population safe, but we quickly launched a virtual platform so that inmates could maintain connections with family and friends during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to announce the return of in person visits, as we understand the significant and positive impact it will have on the inmate population.”

A visitation scheduling platform will open virtually beginning this Friday, Nov.12. Visitors must register online in advance ( and visits will be limited to one hour per week and will be rotated to ensure equitable visitation for vaccinated inmates. The Philadelphia Department of Prisons will also continue to offer free phone calls and virtual visits via tablets to all inmates regardless of vaccination status.

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