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Nebraska Department Of Corrections relaunches visitation program

Visitations had been paused due to the pandemic
Posted at 7:02 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 08:53:57-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Corrections announced that they will be resuming the inmate visitation program at five facilities. Families are now able to register for a time slot.

Visitations will be allowed at facilities that do not have any active COVID cases and visitors will be required to wear face masks and socially distance.

Community activist, Preston Love Jr. says he believes allowing visitations is good for those who are incarcerated, especially because COVID further isolates the population.

"There is surely a need for families who have incarcerated members of their family for them to visit, especially during COVID times where it affects those who are incarcerated or isolated from their family in the first place and then with no visitation, it’s hard on both sides," Love Jr. said.

Corrections staff are in Phase 1B of the state's vaccination plan. Ricketts said he isn't sure though when phase 1C, when those who are incarcerated would get the vaccine, will begin.

"We can’t give you a timeline for phase 1C right now because it really just gets back to how many doses of vaccine do we get and then how many people are willing to take those vaccines," Ricketts said.

Love Jr. says he believes those who are incarcerated are appropriately prioritized in the state's plan, but he's worried about the timeline.

"The ones who are 1A and 1B prior to incarcerated and the group that 1C they fall in, is properly behind those first responders, properly behind those doctors and medical people who are absolutely at high risk," Love Jr. said. "We’re all worried that no matter what the protocol, when does that protocol take place for you and me and for these particular incarcerated people."

Ricketts said phase 1B should start in January but he can't give an exact timeline.