Visits, other services resume at federal correctional facilities

Correctional Services Canada says visits and other inmate services started resuming at federal institutions earlier this month.

Visits suspended as CSC went to critical operations-level staffing in March due to COVID-19

Visits, which were suspended earlier this year, have resumed at Correctional Services Canada facilities across the country. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced that inmate visits have gradually resumed across the country. 

The first sites re-opened for visitation on July 9, 2020.

Before being allowed into facilities, visitors are to undergo active screening including a temperature check. People are also required to wash their hands before entry, wear a mask and practise physical distancing.

The number of people visiting at a time and the duration of visits will be limited. Visiting spaces are to be cleaned before and after each visit, a news release from CSC said.

Anyone who wants to visit a federal inmate was encouraged to review the new measures, check CSC's website frequently for updates and book visits 48 hours in advance.

A website was created to provide information about each facility that includes information about when it will open for visits, new or suspected COVID-19 cases or any other unforeseen circumstances at each facility.

Visits were restricted in March of this year as a preventative measure, as CSC reduced itself to critical operations to limit the number of people inside each institution.

Correctional programming has also resumed inside facilities, and Elders and chaplains have started returning to inmate support roles. Advisory committee members, lawyers and contractors are also returning to in-person work with inmates.

"These are first steps and we will continue to monitor this evolving situation and adjust our measures and operations, as needed, based on the latest public health evidence," CSC said.