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Staff file photo by Tim Barber / The Corrections Emergency Response Team stands at ease the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex. Visitation will resume this coming weekend at all 15 of the state's prison facilities.

The Tennessee Department of Correction will allow visitation to resume at all 15 of the state's prisons this coming weekend.

It's the first time families and friends have been able to visit their loved ones in most of Tennessee prisons since in-person visitation was halted in March 2020 as the coronavirus spread across Tennessee and the U.S., according to Dorinda Carter, spokesperson for the department.

A modified visitation schedule will be implemented on Saturday, April 10, Carter said in a statement. The decision to resume visitation for visitors 18 and older was based on community data from the Tennessee Department of Health as well as vaccine administration at each facility, she said.

Officials said it's important to keep inmates and their families connected while making sure everyone's safe.

TDOC "is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our staff, inmates, visitors and volunteers," Commissioner Tony Parker said. "We understand the importance of maintaining contact with family members and we have worked to ensure the lines of communication between inmates and their loved ones remained open during the pandemic."

Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, Morgan County Correctional Complex, Turney Center Industrial Complex and Mark Luttrell Transition Center briefly resumed visitation in late September and early October but stopped again in December in response to a statewide surge in coronavirus cases.

The virus impacted operations and visitation at all state facilities through 2020 as outbreaks started to appear in prisons across the state by mid-2020. As officials began widespread testing to track the spread, so many cases were identified at the prison in Bledsoe last April the small rural county was ranked No. 2 on the New York Times' list of hot spots.

Officials remain cautious.

In order to maintain social distancing guidelines, all visitors will be required to schedule appointments, Carter said. They will be required to wear masks, have their temperatures checked and respond to a series of COVID-19 screening questions before entry.

All inmates will be required to wear masks during the visits and have their temperatures checked prior to entering the visitation gallery. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the area, she said. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about visitation at Tennessee prisons, go to bit.ly/TNprisons.

Volunteer services have not yet resumed, but will at a later date, officials said.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.

PRISON VISITATION SCHEDULING

To schedule a visit, contact the Tennessee Department of Correction facility directly:

Bledsoe County Correctional Complex

Phone: 423-881-6148/423-881-6463

Days/hours: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT

DeBerry Special Needs Facility

Phone: 615-350-3843

Days/hours: Monday 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. CDT

Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center

Phone: 615-741-4773

Days/hours: Monday-Wednesday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. CDT

Hardeman County Correctional Facility

Phone: 731-254-6005

Days/hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-10 a.m. and 1 p.m.-3 p.m. CDT

Thursdays from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. CDT, call 731-254-6850

Mark Luttrell Transition Center

Phone: 901-581-8173

Days/hours: Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m.-7 p.m. CDT

Morgan County Correctional Complex

Phone: 423-346-1390

Days/hours: Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT

Northeast Correctional Complex

Phone: 423-727-3391

Days/hours: Thursday-Sunday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. EDT

Northwest Correctional Complex

Phone: 731-253-5116/731-253-5277 or 731-253-5130

Days/hours: Monday-Wednesday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CDT

Riverbend Maximum Security Institution

Phone: 615-350-3570

Days/hours: Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. CDT

South Central Correctional Facility

Phone: 931-676-5346 ext.72205/931-213-2152 (text)

Days/hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. CDT

Trousdale Turner Correctional Center

Phone: 615-808-0407

Days/hours: Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-10 a.m., 1 p.m.-4 p.m. CDT

Turney Center Industrial Complex

Phone: 931-729-7963

Days/hours: Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT

Turney Center Industrial Complex Site 2

 Phone: 931-676-2973

Days/hours: Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. CDT

West Tennessee State Penitentiary

Phone: 731-738-1594

Days/hours: Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. CDT

Whiteville Correctional Facility

Phone: 731-254-9200 ext. 40783 or ext. 40805

Days/hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. CDT

Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center

Phone: 731-738-1594

Days/hours: Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT

Source: Tennessee Department of Correction

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