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Michigan Department of Corrections pilots virtual visitation program


The Michigan Department of Corrections is allowing inmates at some state prisons to visit with friends and family virtually.

The first virtual visitations took place Monday at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson.

In a statement, MDOC says they’re part of a pilot project being rolled out to six additional prisons in the next month.

MDOC Spokesperson Chris Gautz says the department recognizes the importance of family ties to an inmate’s success.

“They have such a better chance for success, lower recidivism, if they have a strong family connection when they’re released," said Gautz. "And one of the ways you do that is maintaining it throughout your time of incarceration.” 

MDOC says following completion of the pilot, the department plans to offer virtual visits at all correctional facilities in the state. The department is also working to implement online scheduling for in-person visits once it’s been determined it’s safe to do so.

In person visits have been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.