In-person visits to city jails to resume June 25
The Department of Correction announced it will be resuming in-person family visits on June 25.
This is the first time in-person visits will be allowed since they were put on pause in March of last year due to the pandemic.
"When you visit in person, you can hold hands, you can hug, you can kiss and that's extremely important for a person who's been locked away, especially in a city jail while waiting for trial. So they're not even convicted yet and they cannot even get visits," said Anna Pastoressa, member of Freedom Agenda.
Pastoressa says her son was on Rikers Island for six years and visited him every week. She believes it's important for those behind bars to have an opportunity to connect hand-in-hand with loved ones while they await their trial. She says conditions aren't always the best.
The DOC says they are encouraging visitors to pre-register and schedule visits online starting June 14.
Due to high demand, drop-in visits will only be allowed if space permits in the schedule.
Along with that service, congregant religious services will resume June 14.
Barbershops and beauty salons for men and women in the city's custody started back up two days ago.
"It's about time, they should have opened them a long time ago. I understand there was a safety issue," said Pastoressa.
The DOC says in-person visits will be held Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Everyone will be socially distanced from other people having visits. All visitors will need to be screened for COVID-19.