Media Coverage

County Detention Center Enables Free Connections for Inmates

March 20, 2020

The Doña Ana County Detention Center negotiated two free 10-minute calls and one free 30-minute remote video visitation per week, per inmate. As the Center is suspending in-person family visits, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the community, management proactively sought a way to help keep families connected. Continue Reading

Department of Corrections negotiates free calls and reduced digital costs for incarcerated

KBKW – March 23, 2020

In response to the escalating threat of COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has had to limit visitation and programming across the prison system. Recognizing the importance of contact with friends and family, the Department announced this week it has collaborated with vendors to provide two free five-minute phone calls a week and free and reduced opportunities to use the JPay digital service. Continue Reading

Colorado DOC updates prevention plan for COVID-19

KOAA News – March 23, 2020

The Colorado Department of Corrections has been actively working to prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into the prison system and have updated their prevention plan, per release. Currently the department has tested 9 inmates, six of those tests were negative and the 3 other tests are still pending results. The department does have additional tests available that can be used if any inmate begins to show symptoms. Continue Reading

Phone rates lowered for Niagara County Jail inmates, families

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal – March 20, 2020

Rate reductions have been implemented at the Niagara County Jail to enable more frequent contact between inmates in the 504-bed facility and their family and friends. Continue Reading

At least three employees with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation test positive for COVID-19

KSBY News – March 21, 2020

At least three employees with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) have tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials. In a press release, a spokeswoman with the state department said one employee at California State Prison, Sacramento, and two employees at California Institution for Men have tested positive for COVID-19. Continue Reading

WV incarceration officials respond to pandemic by blocking visitations and providing limited free phone, video communication

Charleston Gazette-Mail – March 21, 2020

Inmates incarcerated in West Virginia have even less access to the outside world while the novel coronavirus pandemic spreads through the Mountain State. The Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation has banned all visitors, except attorneys, from entering the state’s 10 regional jails and 13 prisons, where, in total more than 10,000 people were incarcerated on Thursday, according to data provided by division officials. Continue Reading

Dauphin County Prison offers 15-minute video visitation service for inmates and their families

Fox 43 – March 20, 2020

Dauphin County Prison has suspended all visits to inmates until further notice as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, but the facility announced Friday that it is providing a free video service so that inmates and their loved ones can remain in contact while visitation is suspended. Continue Reading

Department of Corrections negotiates free calls and reduced digital costs for incarcerated population

KNDO 23 – March 20, 2020

In response to the escalating threat of COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has had to limit visitation and programming across the prison system. Recognizing the importance of contact with friends and family, the Department announced this week it has collaborated with vendors to provide two free five-minute phone calls a week and free and reduced opportunities to use the JPay digital service. Continue Reading

Inmate visitation suspended

Hood County News – March 19, 2020

Effective immediately Inmate visitation has been suspended until further notice. This suspension of visitation is in accordance with continuous orders by the Office of the Governor to insure the safety of the public. This decision was not made lightly but our focus here at the Sheriff’s Office is to insure the safety of the public, inmates and our staff. Continue Reading

How Mississippi prisons are preparing for coronavirus

Mississippi Today – March 19, 2020

No COVID-19 cases have been reported in Mississippi prisons as of Thursday morning, but the state is taking precautions in light of the highly contagious virus, says the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Continue Reading

In-person visitation suspended at Brazos County Detention Center

KBTX-TV – March 19, 2020

In-person visitation is suspended at the Brazos County Detention Center until further notice, said the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office Thursday. The sheriff’s office said they stopped in-person visitation after Governor Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration was issued. The sheriff has closed the visitation lobby at the jail. Continue Reading

Metropolitan Detention Center – Video Visits

March 20, 2020

People with a loved one in prison in Michigan are catching a slight break when it comes to paying for phone calls and emails while visitation is suspended in response to concerns about the coronavirus. Prisoners within the Michigan Department of Corrections were informed Monday that the agency’s vendor for phone services, Global Tel Link Corporation, is offering two free, five-minute phone calls to prisoners each week. Continue Reading

Coronavirus is changing life for Michigan prisoners, too. Here’s how.

Detroit Free Press – March 17, 2020

People with a loved one in prison in Michigan are catching a slight break when it comes to paying for phone calls and emails while visitation is suspended in response to concerns about the coronavirus. Prisoners within the Michigan Department of Corrections were informed Monday that the agency’s vendor for phone services, Global Tel Link Corporation, is offering two free, five-minute phone calls to prisoners each week. Continue Reading

ODOC: Oklahoma inmates provided free calls during COVID-19 pandemic

KFOR – March 17, 2020

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections and telecommunications company GTL have established an agreement to provide the state’s inmates with free calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, ODOC suspended all visitation and volunteer access to facilities to prevent the introduction and spread of the coronavirus. Continue Reading

Phone service providing Miss. inmates with free calls during coronavirus pandemic

WLBT – March 16, 2020

A phone service is providing Mississippi inmates with free calls to keep in contact with loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak. Starting Tuesday, March 17th, incarcerated persons using the GTL phone service will be able to make two free phone calls of up to five minutes each per week. Continue Reading

Coronavirus: Santa Clara Sheriff Suspends Social Jail Visits

March 16, 2020

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office has temporarily suspended all social visits to inmates at the Main Jail in San Jose and the Elmwood Correctional Complex in Milpitas. All scheduled social visits have been cancelled during a three-week shelter-in-place order issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department in an effort to contain the new coronavirus. Continue Reading

Winnebago County Jail restricts visits over COVID-19

Rockford Register Star – March 17, 2020

The Winnebago County Jail is suspending all personal visits to inmates until further notice in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Jail Superintendent Bob Redmond said the decision was made to comply with local health officials’ directive to limit gatherings to 25 or fewer people. Continue Reading

Two corrections center inmates tested for COVID-19

The Daily Memphian – March 18, 2020

Results are expected back in five days for two inmates at the Shelby County Division of Corrections who have been isolated and tested for COVID-19, or the coronavirus, said Anthony Alexander, the director of the facility. Continue Reading

Major changes coming to California prisons amid coronavirus concerns

The Sun – March 17, 2020

The California state prison system is suspending rehabilitation programs, postponing parole hearings, and halting all out-of-state transfers, the latest in a slew of restrictions that have come in response to concerns over COVID-19. Starting on Tuesday, the prisons stopped classes, rehabilitation programs, and group events, such as anger management, and barred anyone who helps provide these programs from entering prison ground. The move affects all 33 prisons in California. Continue Reading

Jail gives inmates 2 free calls per week in wake of no visitation

The Courier – March 18, 2020

The Black Hawk County Jail announced Wednesday it was allowing two free phone calls per inmate per week after it suspended all visitors to the facility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading

Prison measures aim to keep inmate population virus-free

The Daily Sentinel – March 17, 2020

As of Monday, no state prison inmate in Colorado had tested positive COVID-19, and measures recently implemented by the state Department of Corrections are aiming to keep it that way. Continue Reading

Delaware DOC Suspends In-Person Prisoner Visitation, Free Phone Calls Added

1st State Update – March 16, 2020

The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) is offering free inmate call time to facilitate community support during coronavirus response. Effective today, the DOC and GTL, the Department’s vendor that provides inmate phone and video visitation services, are providing two free five-minute phone calls per week to all inmates at every Level V prison and Level IV Violation of Probation and Work Release facility. Continue Reading

Company offers limited free calls to state inmates

ABC 11 – March 16, 2020

Starting Tuesday, Mar. 17, incarcerated persons using the GTL phone service will be able to make two free phone calls of up to five minutes each per week. GTL, the state’s phone service provider, is providing the two free calls through April 13. Continue Reading

Ver­mont De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions Sus­pends In-Per­son Vis­i­ta­tion

Barton Chronicle – March 16, 2020

The Ver­mont De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tions will be can­celling in-per­son vis­i­ta­tions ser­vices at all six Ver­mont cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties. Given the cur­rent con­cerns sur­round­ing COVID-19, the De­part­ment is tak­ing all nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions to limit any po­ten­tial ex­po­sure to this virus. Continue Reading

York County Prison to stop inmate visits, has new rules in wake of coronavirus

York Dispatch – March 15, 2020

York County Prison is halting inmate visits and has new guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All volunteer and professional programs were suspended as of Friday. Continue Reading

SCDC bars families, volunteers from visiting prisons amid coronavirus spread

FOX Carolina – March 13, 2020

The South Carolina Department of Corrections is taking steps to reduce the possible impact of the coronavirus on inmates and others. Continue Reading

Lucas Co. sheriff implements visitation restrictions amid coronavirus outbreak

WTOL 11 – March 12, 2020

The Lucas County Sheriff’s Office is implementing changes to the visitation schedule in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Continue Reading

Voting behind bars: Winnebago County turns to tablets to let inmates know their voting rights

Rockford Register Star – March 10, 2020

A new icon was added last month to the electronic tablets used by Winnebago County Jail inmates to order snacks from the commissary, purchase books and music and make phone calls. It reads simply, “voting request.” The addition to the jail-issued tablets and the kiosks in the main housing units was made to comply with a new law meant to safeguard the voting rights of pretrial detainees. Continue Reading

Tompkins County Jail Reduces Cost of Inmate Phone Calls, Renegotiates Contract to Provide iPads for Inmates

Cornell Daily Sun – March 3, 2020

Once one of the most expensive jails in New York for inmates to place calls from, the Tompkins County Jail has cut the cost of inmate phone calls by more than half the price as of Feb. 28. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, Tompkins County Jail inmates pay $9.95 to make a 15-minute phone call as of November 2018. However, a renegotiation of the contract between the jail and Global Tel Link Corporation — the company that provides the jail’s phone services — has reduced the cost of calls from 32 cents per minute to 15 cents. Continue Reading