Alaska Black Caucus fights against prison visitation ban | Government and Politics

Alaska Black Caucus fights against prison visitation ban |  Government and Politics

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A visitation ban on all Alaskan prisons due to the coronavirus pandemic is expected to be lifted, officials from the Alaska Black Caucus have said.

Celeste Hodge Growden, chair of the Alaska Black Caucus, told reporters Thursday that the organization has contacted state officials several times to ask for more relaxed restrictions, but meetings have been repeatedly canceled.

The Alaska Department of Corrections halted all face-to-face visits to jails and prisons last March when the virus was first detected in the state.

State officials said they had implemented security measures to prevent an outbreak in crowded state prisons.

In the fall and winter, the coronavirus had spread to many prisons across the state. The Goose Creek Correctional Center had nearly all of the prisoners contracted with the virus.

A total of more more than 2,300 inmates had contracted the virus in the state on Tuesday, data of the corrections department said.

Alaska is one of 13 states that still have a complete visitation ban, according to data compiled by The Marshall Project.

A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections could not be reached by phone by the Anchorage Daily News Thursday and did not respond to an email.

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