Wisconsin prisons to allow in-person visits again

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin prisons will allow in-person visits again beginning next week as COVID-19 cases continue to decline.

Department of Corrections officials said Friday that they will reopen their facilities to visitors starting Tuesday.

The prison system initially closed its doors to visitors in March 2020 as the pandemic was taking hold. The DOC reopened to visits in July 2021 but closed them down again this past December amid the omicron surge.

"Family connection during incarceration has shown to have a positive impact on success upon return to the community, and in-person visitation is one way of maintaining that connection," Corrections Secretary Kevin A. Carr said in a news release.

Department officials said that as of Thursday there were 77 active COVID-19 infections among prisoners and 22 employees with active cases across the department.

They added that 83% of prisoners have completed their initial round of vaccinations.