DC prisons will see return of some in-person services for fully-vaccinated inmates

The D.C. Department of Corrections has issued updated guidance for how it is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and several programs are set to return in person for the first time since the pandemic began for fully vaccinated inmates.

In-person legal and religious services are scheduled to return to D.C. prisons, with the former starting back up on Saturday, May 15, and the latter resuming on June 6.

GED, CTE and other education studies will resume for inmates, and enrollment will be determined by their vaccination status.

During the pandemic, inmates had access to tablets for education, vocational and social service purposes, and the department of corrections said that will not change with the loosening of COVID-19-related restrictions.

Inmates looking for help with legal research will soon have the help of the University of the District of Columbia, and Howard University will offer assistance beginning next fall.

The universities will make law students and professors available to teach classes to inmates, and in some cases answer legal questions they may have.

Inmates will be able to attend in-person instruction from fully-vaccinated instructors this fall as well.

Video visitation will resume in early June in D.C. prisons, after being suspended amid the pandemic.

The department of corrections said the service was suspended “in response to the need to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by curtailing community movement and to protect DOC staff from potential COVID exposure with community members visiting the facility.”

In-person visitations will resume for vaccinated inmates at the Correctional Treatment Facility and the Central Detention Facility starting June 6.

A service was created that allowed inmates to text family members through department-provided tablets, and the department of corrections said that will remain even with the reintroduction of in-person visits.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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