SCI-Coal Township exterior with NCPA logo bottom right _ 2021

State Correctional Institute at Coal Township, Northumberland County. 

Harrisburg, Pa. - Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced that four additional facilities have finalized plans in order to reimplement in-person visitation.

The latest facilities to confirm dates to welcome back visitors are SCI-Coal Township in Northumberland County, on July 26; and SCI- Benner Township in Centre County, on July 29.

In-person visitation resumed at SCI-Muncy on May 30. 

Related Reading: In-person visitation to resume at several state prisons, including SCI-Muncy

Visitation also will be reopening at facilities in other parts of the state at SCI-Pine Grove, and SCI Greene. 

Reopening dates for additional facilities will be announced when they are available.

Visitors are reminded that visits must be scheduled online at least three days in advance. To comply with reduced visiting room capacity limits, visitors who arrive at a facility without an appointment will be turned away

Available visitation timeslots are determined by each facility, based on an inmate's housing location within the prison. Each visit will be least one hour in duration. No-cost video visits remain an option for people to connect with incarcerated loved ones.

Information on scheduling an in-person or video visit and the reopening of DOC facilities is available. Visitors may begin scheduling in-person visits via the inmate visitation system seven days before the start date. Dates are subject to change.

Established visiting rules remain in effect.

Visitors are also required to complete a COVID-19 questionnaire and temperature screening.

All inmates and visitors ages 2 and older are issued a disposable facemask, which must be worn for the duration of the visit.

Visiting rooms have been configured in a way that allows for social distancing between each visiting group. Visits can be cancelled by the facility if the rules are not followed.

On-site visits to DOC facilities were suspended on March 13, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Decisions regarding the reinstatement of in-person visitation at each location are based on inmate vaccination rates, percentage of COVID-19 cases among the inmate population, and results from the DOC's wastewater testing program that monitors for elevated levels of the COVID-19 virus.

For more information on the impact of COVID-19 within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, visit the COVID-19 dashboard.

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This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.