Since mid March, correctional facilities across the United States have cancelled in person visitation.
Isolation from loved ones has been and continues to be difficult for inmates who are concerned about their loved ones and lonely at the same time. Loved ones are concerned about inmates incarcerated and isolated. This type of separation is and continues to be difficult mentally for those on the inside as well as those on the outside.
Oklahoma, Missouri and Delaware are the only states to have finally reinstated visitation. The Marshall Project has been closely following the visitation ban and reporting on it. Why isn’t any other media outlet? Short answer? They don’t care. Media is so biased and one sided that other than reporting on Covid running rampant throughout the criminal justice system without pointing to the direct fact that it’s obvious visitors aren’t bringing this virus into prisons due to banned visitation that whoever is reporting on the situation fails to grasp how and why these cases have continued to flourish although families have not been allowed to visit for months now.
How is Covid getting into prisons? The employees. Correctional officers are either refusing to wear masks or wearing them incorrectly. In Anderson County, Texas Covid was so prevalent that TDCJ was blamed for the outbreak. Beto, Gurney, Powledge, Michael and Coffield Units are all located within close proximity of one another from Palestine to Tennessee Colony. The number of employees working at these 5 Units in a very small area could explain the shocking number of cases but do they?
It’s not visitors. It’s not inmates. Covid-19 in Anderson County was non existent in March. How do I know? I was at several Units in the area in March. Prior to visits being removed entirely for months. In Texas, visits are still banned.
In May Anderson County had 968 confirmed cases. As of July 8, Anderson County with a population of less than 60k residents has 9,979 confirmed Covid cases.
Media would have you believe these cases are due to the number of inmates incarcerated or blame the visitors for this spread but the media would be wrong. Why? Because these 5 Units have thousands of employees coming and going daily to Units. A number of corrections officers refuse to wear masks or wear them incorrectly. These numbers aren’t due to families unable to visit they are due to employees. It’s a fact.
TDCJ issued a statement refusing to chain (move) inmates into TDCJ months ago so it isn’t county inmates being moved to state that are “upping the cases.”
While inmates face stress and anxiety of not knowing when they will see their families again, loved ones worry that the inmates will become another statistic of Covid-19.
What can be done to change the course of Covid in Prisons? Masks properly worn are a good start. Sanitation efforts are and have been under way for months within the criminal justice system.
Whether you are pro mask or anti mask, the fact that this virus has continued to affect everyone and anyone whether they are incarcerated or not should be a warning to you that it exists and it’s non discriminatory.
Covid doesn’t care where you work, where you live, what color you are or what faith you follow. Covid is real.
One of my husbands sales ladies was anti mask in May. In June, her daughter flew to see a boyfriend in New Mexico. She brought Covid home to her mother and grandmother. My husbands shocked office staff began staggering working from home and going to the office. Everyone began wearing masks and sanitizing every surface of the office, model homes and even their cars. Viola was in the hospital struggling to breathe and wondering if she would survive for nearly two weeks.
When I tell you this virus is real, believe me. In April I knew no one Covid positive. It’s July and I now know 42 people. Wear your mask. Do it for others if you don’t want to do it for yourself.
I’ve heard that TDCJ is working on video visitation. I’m hoping that they don’t plan to replace in person visitation with video visitation. They are not equal regardless of who wishes to argue the point. Human contact is and always will be preferred by not only inmates but also their families.
As for my Oklahoma and Missouri clients, we will be required to wear masks. We will be required to undergo temperature checks. We must be on location a minimum of 15 minutes early to shakedown and screen in.
Delaware client’s, Cindy and I will see you in 2021.
Clients in all other service area states, we hope to see you soon and continue to mail checks to split the cost of a replacement marriage license as a courtesy to our previously booked clients.
I was taken back by another vendor contacting me regarding their stupid and selfish idea to charge a “rescheduling fee.” This type of money grubbing is offensive and opportunistic. Don’t fall for this type of stupidity. In over ten years in the events industry I have never charged a rescheduling fee and anyone who is or tries to is unethical.
Be aware such ridiculous tactics. Also be aware of people selling parole packets or letters of support. I will send you links to free services for both.
Stay calm. We will work through this and we will get you married. Wear your mask. Try to limit being in large groups. Love is resilient. Love is the strongest emotion and it will find a way…