Facilities in the Colorado Department of Corrections system, including the Buena Vista Correctional Complex, are modifying their operations – especially related to outside visitation of inmates – as a precaution against the spread of COVID19.

CDOC has suspended all visitation in its facilities, all volunteer services in the facilities, all public tours and family reunification events and is limiting any inter-facility travel by staff unless absolutely necessary, a news release from CDOC spokesperson Annie Skinner said Tuesday afternoon.

These changes go into effect immediately. While the release does not give an end date for the precautions, CDOC will review the decisions "regularly over the next 30 days."

In addition, "parolees who are sick, immune compromised, over 60 and/or are considered to be at higher risk of infection … will not be required to come into the parole office, but will still be required to maintain contact with their parole officer," the release says.

CDOC is "looking at options for conducting video visits and expanding the amount of phone time allowed in order to assist offenders in staying connected to those they care about," Skinner said. Legal visits can still occur, but will be non-contact.

The department is also looking into other recreation options to compensate for the temporary loss of volunteers, she said.

Increased cleaning efforts are underway in the facilities and inmates at most custody levels regularly have access to cleaning products, and facilities are screening all incoming inmates for COVID-19 and implementing "formalized screening practices" for inmates already in custody.

From our sister paper the Chaffee County Times at www.chaffeecountytimes.com

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