COVID prompts end to prison visits, union fears it’s too late

WWNY COVID prompts end to prison visits, union fears it’s too late

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - By allowing visitors into state prisons, there have been concerns that COVID-19 could become a big problem. On Wednesday, those visitations will stop.

According to the state, inmates will be able to use phones and tablets for free calls and non-contact legal visits will continue.

But COVID is already behind bars in north country prisons and the union representing corrections officers has fought for a while to halt visits.

“We just fear that it’s a little too late now because the numbers throughout the facilities are on the rise. It puts our members, their families, and their communities at risk. It’s unacceptable in our opinion and that’s why we pushed as hard as we did,” said Mike Powers, New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association president.

According to the state:

  • 50 inmates have tested positive at Gouverneur Correctional Facility
  • 13 positive cases have been reported at Riverview Correctional Facility in Ogdensburg
  • 6 positive cases have been reported at Watertown Correctional Facility
  • 0 inmates have tested positive at Cape Vincent and Ogdensburg correctional facilities

Visitations stop Wednesday at 3 p.m. and won’t be allowed again until it’s safe to resume them.

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