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Work Release Visits

Alerts & Notices

The Department of Corrections (DOC) recognizes the vital role families and friends play in the reentry process and supports residents in maintaining ties with family, friends, and the community. Per DOC 450.310 Visits & Social Outings for Work Release Residents (pdf), the department allows and sets reasonable criteria for visits and social outings.

COVID-19 Guidelines

General

  • Contact visitation will resume except where otherwise prohibited by policy.
  • In-facility visitation is authorized for those individuals not yet approved for social outings or if sponsors do not have means to facilitate social outings
  • Visitors may only schedule one visiting session at a time, multiple visitation cannot be scheduled in advance
  • Between one to six approved visitors of any age may visit the incarcerated individual depending on facility visitation area size to ensure social distancing and capacity restrictions. The visiting party may not exceed the designated capacity of the facility visitation area. Infants and children are counted as visitors.
  • Approved visitors may schedule visits for two (2) hours/up to two (2) hours on days and time periods designated by each facility.
  • Visitors must schedule in advance to reserve their visitation day and time by contacting the work release facility.
  • Check-in, active screening, security screening, and rapid antigen testing time will impact visit duration.
  • Facility emergencies may impact operations; these are unforeseen and visitation may not occur.
  • Searches have fully resumed, and all persons are subject to search. Refusal to submit to the security screening process, including searches, will be cause for the denial of entry and potentially suspension of visitation privileges.
  • In cases of limited area outbreak or facility outbreak, visitation may be suspended. Visitors who had a confirmed visit session during outbreak will not be guaranteed a rescheduled visit in the same month. Corrections will continue to utilize the visit alert process when time permits.
  • Visitors will be provided a DOC approved Surgical Mask upon arrival.

See the COVID-19 Visiting Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Scheduling

Visitors will be required to contact the work release facility to schedule a visit. Available times and days for visiting will be determined by each work release facility and resources available.

Transitioning to In-facility Two (2) Hour Visits

As of August 16, 2021, work release will resume scheduling contact visits for residents not yet approved for social outings or if sponsors do not have means to facilitate social outings, except where otherwise prohibited by policy. Visits can be scheduled for two (2) hours/up to two (2) hours.

Arrival

To protect your loved one and other individuals in the facility, please stay home if you are sick or have any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, regardless of how mild.

Visitors who arrive late for their confirmed visiting session will not be processed and will need to reschedule for their visit.

COVID-19 Facility Entrance Criteria

Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 transmission in congregate living environments such as prisons, additional safety precautions will continue to be required. Contact visitation will require, regardless of age, all visitors to:

  • Participate in active screening, which includes a series of health-related questions and a temperature check and,
  • Provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (completed vaccination 14 days prior to the scheduled visit) or,
  • Complete an on-site, day-of-visit COVID-19 rapid antigen test.

Those who screen out due to active screening or positive rapid antigen test will not be able to participate in visitation. Those who do not pass active screening or test positive for COVID-19 should consult with their medical provider.

Active Screening

Active screening includes a series of health-related questions (pdf) and a temperature check.

The Washington State Department of Corrections wants to emphasize the serious nature of the transmission and infection of COVID-19 in congregate living environments. Corrections is committed to mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 in prison populations, so a personal decision to try to mask symptoms in an effort to visit a loved one is dangerous and potentially deadly.

Proof of Vaccination

All people who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination are encouraged to do so. Reach out to your medical provider or local health district for vaccination information.

Acceptable forms of COVID-19 vaccination status are:

  • Proof of full vaccination, such as a CDC vaccination card (or a printed or electronically stored photo of the card), or
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or state immunization information system record.

Visitors must provide proof each time they come to visit as Corrections will not maintain a log or tracking system of those who are vaccinated.

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

Due to the time required to complete the COVID-19 rapid antigen test before any of the security screening process can commence, visitors who are not fully vaccinated may experience shorter visit sessions as the testing process will take up part of the two-hour visit session.

The rapid antigen test is collected by utilizing a nasal swab in each nostril. Department employees will not collect the nasal specimen. Visitors will follow instructions of the staff proctoring the collection. For infants and children unable to follow the instruction, the parent or approved escort will collect the specimen. The nasal swab is then placed into a cartridge to be processed, which takes 15 minutes per person.

Visitors will be required to socially distance in the designated waiting area or in their personal vehicles until the outcome of the test is known.

Each visitor will also need to complete the Department of Health required document for rapid antigen testing. Please follow staff instructions while waiting for your COVID-19 test result as the process may vary from facility to facility.

Please note:

  • All minors under the age of twelve (12) must complete a rapid antigen test since vaccination is not available to this age group.
  • Those who rapid antigen test will likely experience less than the two-hour visit session as the testing process can take approximately 20-35 minutes per person.
  • All positive test results are reported to the Department of Health, who will work with local public health for mapping and contact tracing.

Visit Room

  • Restroom use is permitted during the visit session.
  • Photos, games, vending machines and the children’s area will not be available during visits at this time.
  • Masks may only be down while a person is actively taking a drink of water and must immediately be pulled back into appropriate positioning at the conclusion of the drink.

Rules

  • A brief hug at the beginning and again at the end of the visit is permitted. Hand holding above the table and in plain view and touching of the arm from the wrist to elbow are also permitted. No other physical contact is permitted.
  • Children 8 years of age and younger are permitted to hug, be held by and/or sit in the laps of parents and approved escorts throughout the visit session as long as there are no prohibitions in place that prevent such contact.
  • For infants and toddlers up to 24 months the following items are allowed and must be stored in a clear plastic bag or container:
    • Two empty, clear plastic bottles that can be filled with water, juice, milk, or formula
    • One plastic Tupperware-type child’s cup with lid
    • Two unopened plastic containers of formula, juice, or other infant-specific fluids (e.g., Pedialyte). Breast milk may be allowed if it is in a clear plastic bottle that employees are able to inspect
    • Two unopened plastic containers of baby/snack food in their original packaging with one plastic baby spoon
    • Two bibs
    • Two pacifiers or teething objects
    • One non-quilted child’s blanket
    • One change of baby clothing
    • One disposable diaper per hour of the visit
    • Baby wipes that have been transferred to a zip lock plastic bag before the visit
    • If facility resources are available, nursing mothers may be asked to relocate to a non-restroom location identified by facility employees. If there is no suitable location for nursing, mothers may nurse in the visit room, provided they maintain reasonable modesty while nursing.
  • Socializing with others not in your own visit party will result in termination of both visit sessions.
  • Any violations of touch, mask removal, etc. will cause for the visit to be terminated. Suspensions may be applied for the visitor(s) and the disciplinary process may be applied for the incarcerated individual.

Required Infection Control Practices

  • Visiting rooms, tables, chairs, restrooms and high touch surface areas will be sanitized between visit sessions.
  • Hand sanitizer must be used before entering the visit room. Incarcerated individuals will also need to use hand sanitizer before entering as well as prior to leaving the visit room.
  • Capacity will continue to be reduced in the visiting rooms to support social distancing between visit groups.
  • All persons aged two years (24 months) and older must wear a DOC issued face mask. These masks are disposable. Adult and children’s sizes will be provided.
  • Masks must be worn at all times during the visit over the nose and mouth with the ear loops over both ears and the nose piece adjusted to a tightened fit.
    • Masks may only be down while a person is actively taking a drink of water and must immediately be pulled back into appropriate positioning at the conclusion of the drink.
  • Directional arrows route foot traffic through high volume areas and other strategies may be in place which could cause a delay in movement. These protocols are dependent on time, plant layout and other factors, and may look slightly different from facility to facility. Be aware of and follow COVID-19 posted signage.
    • Visitors do not have to stay for the entire two-hour visitation period but will need to remain patient as facility movement has been impacted by COVID-19 transmission mitigation protocols.