While the rules are still changing (slightly) on March 13, 2020, Governor Gregg Abbott signed a bill which announced all prison visitations would be suspended at the 92 state-operated facilities, even though prison officials say there are no signs the virus has been transmitted inside.
The bill also ordered all Texas jails to cease visitations but their response isn’t as quick as that of the TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) with many of the jails still allowing visits although often on a reduced scale. We here at TexasParoleNow expect that the cancellation of all visitation for all Texas prisoners will be forthcoming.
In addition, it is anticipated that all offenders entering the TDCJ prisons will be subject to a quarantine, just as happened with the Swine Flu Scare in 2008-2009.
The duration of the hiatus on visitations is unknown at this time.
It is also unknown whether or how this will affect the visits by the parole board clerks to the prisons. Because of this we believe it is more important than ever to prepare a good Texas Parole Packet.
If you have a loved one you would like to visit with, it is best to contact the actual unit to ask what rules are in effect. Doing this as close as possible to the visitation date may prevent an unneeded drive or keep loved ones from missing a possible visit.
It is important to stay in touch with the incarcerated individuals during this time period by mail (or email). It is also a very, very boring time for the inmate and any commissary money you can provide will be appreciated even more during this “lockdown”.