Family and Friends Newsletter-May, 2021

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missouri department of corrections

Family and Friends Newsletter | May 2021

Visiting to Resume

Visiting room2

Visiting for offenders in Missouri Department of Corrections facilities will resume beginning June 1, 2021, only for facility residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Residents are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This requirement is not permanent. As vaccination rates increase and COVID conditions improve, regular visiting will resume for everyone, including those who have not been vaccinated.

The department does not require visitors to be vaccinated. However, we strongly encourage all visitors to be vaccinated before visiting to help protect their loved ones and other members of the incarcerated population. All Missourians age 16 or older are eligible for vaccination. Get details at

When visiting resumes June 1, several restrictions will be in place to protect the health and safety of offenders and staff during the ongoing public health crisis.

  • Visits must be scheduled with the facility in advance in accordance with each facility's protocols. Contact the facility for details.
  • All visitors, staff and offenders will be required to wear a face cover or mask while in the visiting area.
  • Visitors will not be permitted to use their own face coverings/masks. Each visitor will be provided with a disposable face covering/mask for use during the visit.
  • All visitors must pass a COVID-19 screening with a temperature check prior to entering the check-in area; anyone who does not pass the screening will not be allowed to enter
  • Visiting rooms will operate at 50% capacity.
  • Offenders will be allowed no more than one visit in any one week and will be limited to a maximum of two visits per month.
  • Offenders will be allowed no more than two visitors per visit.
  • Electrostatic sprayers with vital oxide disinfectant will be used to clean visiting rooms before and after each visiting session.
  • Regular physical contact restrictions apply
  • Non-contact visits remain suspended at this time.
  • Children are permitted to visit.

The most important component of reopening visiting and keeping it open is you. If visitors help keep the virus out, visiting can continue. Make smart health decisions. Get vaccinated. Follow social distancing guidelines and other recommendations. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Stay home if you are sick. We encourage everyone who plans to visit a loved one to get tested for the virus within seven days of a planned visit. Testing sites are located throughout the state.

The department and offenders’ families and friends are partners in protecting the health and safety of incarcerated Missourians and prison staff. We must all work together to keep everyone safe during this public health crisis.

Standard visiting rules apply.

Chaplaincy in Corrections


Missouri Department of Corrections chaplains met recently to plan priorities for the coming fiscal year. You might wonder exactly what a Chaplain does in the corrections environment. Kansas City Reentry Center Chaplain Matt Mason shares this description of prison chaplaincy in Holiness Today:

Prison chaplains are different things to different people. Chaplains are comforters, pastors, teachers, counselors, advisors, administrators and confidants. They are creative and understanding as they demonstrate God’s grace and love in ministering to people of differing faiths and cultures in very restrictive settings.

Chaplains advise correctional staff on religious issues, provide spiritual counseling to inmates, provide religious literature to inmates of all faiths, and provide offenders being released with resources that can help them in their transition. They also maintain spiritual programming files, submit monthly reports on all group activity and attendance, and supervise inmates assigned to assist the chaplain.

Chaplains listen to the angry, the frightened, the lonely, the poor, and all those who are hurting in one way or another. Chaplains are called to remember that no matter the crime, human dignity has not been forfeited and we should recognize and respect each person. We understand that even inmates are valued by God. A prison chaplain does more than just give away Bibles and pray for people. He or she challenges offenders to address the often ignored spiritual issues deep inside.

Your loved one can receive support or assistance, by contacting the chaplain at their facility.

Economic Impact Payment-offender release

The IRS recently provided additional guidance regarding the distribution of stimulus checks to offenders being released from incarceration.  The IRS has requested that offenders being released complete a Change of Address form (Form 8822).  Offenders may obtain the form from their case manager.