In-person visitations will resume on March 1, 2022
Information related to in-person visitation may vary by institution. For information related to visit procedures, how to schedule a visit, or for site-specific visiting days/hours, please visit the DOC Adult Facilities page on our public website or by clicking here and selecting an institution. Individuals without internet access can call the institution's main line. Institutions' contact information can be found by visiting the DOC Adult Facilities page.
Resuming In-Person Visitation
The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) has made the decision to resume in-person visitation at DOC facilities due to a notable decrease in COVID-19 activity across the state and in DOC correctional institutions and centers. In addition, COVID-19 vaccination and booster rates among persons in DOC care remain high. Given these facts, DOC has decided it is safe to resume visiting operations with proper precautions.
Visiting guidelines may vary slightly by facility, based on individual institutional concerns. Facilities will be offering both in-person and video visits. If COVID-19 cases in a specific DOC facility or surrounding community begin to rise or if other, unforeseen circumstances arise, face-to-face visitation may be suspended. DOC will work with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in determining if face-to-face visitation needs to be suspended at a DOC facility.
Anyone visiting a DOC correctional facility is subject to DOC’s COVID-19 protocols for such facilities, including rules regarding masking and testing.
Scheduling a Visit
People can begin to schedule in-person visits at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 16. Visitors are asked to schedule their in-person visits at least two business days (excludes Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) in advance. They are encouraged to schedule by emailing the same address they have been using to set up Zoom visits, which can be found by going to the individual institution's page on the DOC website. Those without internet access can call the institution's main line. Whether calling or emailing, visitors are asked to specify whether they are requesting a zoom or in-person visit.
All persons who wish to visit a person in our care (PIOC) must be listed on the PIOC's approved visiting list, per Administrative Code Ch. 309.08. A completed DOC-21AA Visitor Questionnaire must be submitted for all prospective visitors, including minor children. It is the PIOC's responsibility to obtain and mail the DOC-21AA to a prospective visitor. Proposed visitors must return the completed form to the institution for processing. If approved, PIOC's will be notified that a visitor has been added to their visiting list. Applicants may be denied approval for visitation on a number of grounds, which are specified in state administrative code. Applicants who are denied will receive written notice.
Updated DAI Expectations for Visiting
Updated visitation guidelines put in place when in-person visits first resumed last summer will remain in place. There are designed to protect persons in our care, visitors and DOC staff. Those include:
- DOC expects initial demand for in-person visits to be high. Due to social distancing and other preventative measures related to COVID-19, capacity in visitation areas has been decreased, but DOC institutions will attempt, when possible, to honor up to two face-to-face visiting periods each week for each person in our care. The number of visits may vary by institution to account for individual site needs.
- Institutions will continue to offer video visits as a supplement to face-to-face visitation, allowing persons in our care one video visit a week. Video visits will continue to be free to all persons in DOC's care. Each person in DOC care will also continue to receive two free phone calls weekly and a free pre-embossed envelope every two weeks until DOC returns to full pre-pandemic operations.
- Visitors are subject to current entrance procedures for visitors, which will include a COVID-19 screening by security staff. As of March 1, COVID-10 protocols also include submitting to a rapid COVID test or providing a negative test result from the past 72 hours.
Updated COVID-19 Precautions, Rules and Guidelines for Visiting
DOC understands seeing loved ones in-person for the first time in 15 months will be an emotional experience for many. However, due to the continued threat of COVID-19, DOC is imposing the following rules when face-to-face visitation resumes on July 6:
Initially, up to three approved visitors will be allowed for a specific visit with a person in our care. Relationship does not matter but at least one visitor must be an adult.
Brief hugs are allowed at the beginning and end of visit; kisses are not allowed.
Hand holding and sitting on laps is not allowed.
Individual sites have discretion on how young children and infants can interact with persons in our care.
Per CDC guidance related to mask wearing in correctional facilities, all visitors age two or above shall wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
All persons in our care shall be required to wear a mask for the duration of the visit.
Food and/or drink are allowed, but cannot be shared amongst visitors and persons in our care.
All chairs and tables will be sanitized between visits.
The children's area shall not be available as it is difficult to sanitize between usage.
Outdoor visiting will require the same processes/restrictions.
Vaccination status of an individual will not alter any of these rules or guidelines.
Refusal to comply with these rules may result in ending the visit.
In addition, to these COVID-19 rules, General Visiting Rules will be enforced. You can find those rules and more information about visitation on our Visiting Information page.
Additional Information Related to DOC's Return to Normal Operations
DOC is resuming many normal operations that were suspended late last year, including volunteer visits, if they can be done in a safe manner that protects the health of persons in our care, staff and surrounding communities. Resumption of these programs may vary by facility, and anyone with questions about these activities should contact the institution directly or email DOCGeneral@wisconsin.gov.