North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to use phased approach for visitation

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Categories: COVID-19

The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is utilizing a phased strategy approach to resume visitation at its facilities. The Youth Correctional Center (YCC) began outdoor visitation June 27 and Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC) is set to begin outdoor visitation July 3. James River Correctional Center (JRCC) and North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP) are finalizing plans to resume visitation. 

YCC family visits allow for two adults per visitation. Each cottage will have a 60-minute visitation period on Saturdays and Sundays as follows:

  • Hickory Cottage 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Pine Cottage 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Brown Cottage 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Social distancing etiquette will remain in place for youth and their visitors, tables will be sprayed down with disinfectant between visitations, and hand sanitizer will be available.  

“Family visits are a critical component to the successful transition of any of our youth back into the community,” said Tim Tausend, Director of YCC. “We are maximizing our mitigation efforts to ensure kids and their families can meet face to face in a safe environment.” 

MRCC visitation will allow for one adult per visitation. Each resident will be allowed a 60-minute visitation. Visitations will be held Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. The outdoor visitation will be clearly marked and contain two hard plastic chairs six feet apart with a sanitation bucket that will include disinfectant and hand sanitizer. Seating will be disinfected between visits. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has been ever-evolving and the care and safety of our employees and the people we serve must come first,” said Shannon Davison, Deputy Warden of Transitional Facilities. “As we continue to mitigate the coronavirus, we recognize that visitation is vitally important to our residents and their families as it provides an opportunity for human connection and strengthens family bonds. As we move forward with visitation opportunities, we will assess risk utilizing a phased approach to ensure the safety of our employees, residents, visitors, and the public.” 

All visitors and residents from MRCC and youth from YCC will be issued masks; visitors will have their temperature taken and asked screening form questions. Anyone who has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater or who answers yes to any of the questions on the screening questionnaire will not be permitted. Families wishing to visit at YCC may contact the Juvenile Correctional Institute Case Manager for the designated Cottage of whom they wish to visit. Those wishing to visit at MRCC may call the MRCC Control Center at 701-328-9699.

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