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Maine Dept. Of Corrections To Ease Restrictions On Prisoner Visitation, Work Release Programs

The Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) plans to ease restrictions on prisoner visitation beginning in July.

The Department says that after consultation with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it will reopen for in-person, non-contact visits for residents of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont beginning the week of July 13. No more than two visitors from the same household will be allowed at any one time. As part of ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors will be required to undergo symptom monitoring and wear face coverings during visits.

Restrictions are also being eased for work release programs and community restitution crews next month, so long as the work does not require public interaction and social distancing and face coverings are used. Up to ten offenders may be approved for jobs that are not public facing.

"It's important for MDOC clients to get back to work, for their own sake and for Maine's economy, but we need to take this slowly," MDOC Commissioner Randy Liberty said in a written statement. "If all goes well, we'll look at approving expanded community work opportunities based on the reopening guidelines later this summer."

There has not been a positive case of COVID-19 in the prison system since May 23, after universal testing of employees, contractors and prisoners was undertaken.