We received the following message from a man who’s incarcerated at ERDCC in Bonne Terre. Video visits have been promised by the Department of Corrections for several years now. There are families who can’t visit due to being several states away. Video visits are important, too. Here’s the message we received.
“The department continues to discriminate and have different rules for our families, than the rules no staff and other individual who come into the prison. Staff DO NOT wear masks. Every detective, investigator, etc. who come into the visit room and sit with inmates DO NOT wear masks. But our families have to wear masks.
The other part of the below email sent to us by the department that is troubling, is there are some people who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks, but the department will refuse to allow them to visit due to their medical condition.
And where are the video visits? There are some of us that will only be able to see our families on video visits, but the department doesn’t want us to see our families. They don’t care about the damage to our families and our mental and emotional health that comes from not being able to see each other. We’ve had these tablets for YEARS! Are you telling me, in 2021, it takes years to set up video visits for us on Jpay? The departments actions are deliberate.
‘Please see below updates on Temporary Visiting Guidelines:
Offenders are limited to two (2) visitors per visit. Infants do not count towards the two visitors.
Infants are not required to wear a mask however, all other visitors are required to wear a mask.
Visitors may wear their own mask as long as the mask is not disruptive or derogatory in nature. If the mask is, the facility will provide a disposable mask to the visitor.
If a visitor is unable to wear a mask, they will not be able to visit.
The offender’s visitor is responsible for contacting the facility to schedule the visit.
Jeff Norman, DAI Director