MDOC to limit office vistitations in July

MDOC to limit office vistitations in July
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) will be limiting office visits in July for individuals on probation, parole, house arrest, or other forms of community supervision.

MDOC says that community supervision also includes earned release supervision (ERS), conditional medical release (CMR), and interstate compact, which covers individuals convicted in other states but now living in Mississippi. There are 25,349 people under supervision with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

“Our agents are calling individuals on their caseloads who are not required to report in person. If individuals do not hear from their agent, they must report in person in July,” Deputy Commissioner Christy Gutherz said.

MDOC instructs individuals who are not required to report in person can call any day between, Wednesday, July 1, and Monday, July 20, and the person who answers the phone will take the report. Office hours will be from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reports will be handled as they were in April, May, and June.

Face-to-face reporting begins Monday, July 6, 2020, and continues through Monday, July 20.

All necessary precautions will be taken to protect the agents and the offenders during office visits.

MDOC is requiring agents to wear face coverings, and those reporting in person are required to do the same. Temperature checks will be done before individuals enter the office.

The department is asking that individuals required to do face-to-face visits not report if they are ill.

“If you are not feeling well, please call your agent on your report day,” Gutherz said. “Do not come to the office.”

MDOC recommends the agent and the offender to stay at least 6 feet apart for social distancing.

Additionally, high-touch areas, such as door handles, tables, chairs, and electronic equipment will be cleaned and disinfected.

Aside from reporting in person or via phone, individuals also can email their agents or use technology portals, such as Skype and FaceTime, to communicate.

“COVID-19 has forced us all to be creative,” Gutherz said. “Now is not the time to stop being vigilant.”

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