By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT)– Last week the Michigan Department of Corrections announced that after shutting down a year ago due to the pandemic, in-person visitations at state prisons will resume March 26.

For Amy Wallace, this was the best news in a very long time.

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“We actually haven’t seen each other in over 750 days, so just over 2 years.”

 

Wallace speaking about her husband Jerry who’s incarcerated at a facility in the U-P. She says the first year of not seeing him was on her, but this past year of being forced not to see him physically has being extremely difficult.

“My father passed away in October and all I wanted was to hug my husband, and to not have that was kind of difficult.”

Wallace says she’s grateful for the chance to see her husband in the flesh, but the visit will be bitter sweet, due to the COVID restrictions that will be in place.

Chris Gautz, Spokesperson for The Michigan Department of Corrections says things will be different during prison visitations.

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“Certainly we want to eventually get back to a regular visit people have been use to, but right now we’re going to continue to follow the states guidelines and make sure we’re doing it in the safest way possible.” Gautz said during an interview on Wednesday

Gautz says all visitors must schedule an appointment, will be allowed only a two hour visits, visitors and inmates will receive a rapid COVID test just before the visit and plexiglass will be in place as a barrier.

Lisa Cavin says despite the restrictions she’s overjoyed to see her husband Mario who housed in Macomb County.

“We all had plans on going to see him a year ago on his birthday and then when they stopped visits, like uh, so this is kind of a late birthday present for him this year.

A press release from MDOC reads as follows.

“Approved visitors must schedule their visits in advance and will have a two-hour time limit. Visitors are required to schedule their visit 72 to 48 hours in advance of the scheduled visit. Information about how to schedule visits will be available soon on the MDOC website www.michigan.gov/corrections. Once visitors have scheduled their visits, they should monitor the MDOC website to ensure the facility is not in quarantine, or the housing unit of the prisoner they wish to visit is not in quarantine.”

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April Morton