SOUTHEASTERN N.C. (WECT) - Some county jails in the Cape Fear are updating their hours and visitor policies due to coronavirus concerns.
The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that the county jail will be closed to the public, effective immediately.
Sheriff’s office officials said the closure was necessary to minimize the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus and to limit its spreading.
Anyone wishing to visit with an inmate can do so via webcam by going to www.videovisitanywhere.com. A webcam capable computer and access to the internet is required.
Anyone who needs access to the jail for magistrate service, bond payment, etc. can use the call button at the lobby entrance for assistance.
To send money to an inmate, US Postal money orders only, made out to the inmate, can be mailed to the Brunswick County Detention Center at PO Box 9, Bolivia, NC 28422, attention inmate’s name.
According to an Instagram post Saturday morning from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, they will stay open for normal business hours for the time being.
That includes the intake of “weekenders,” magistrate services, paying bonds, inmate visitation, and inmate classes/programs.
Those who are considering in the vulnerable class or are concerned about your current health situation should think twice before visiting the sheriff’s office or jail.
They plan to keep their social media pages updated with information but if you have questions, you can call 910-798-4200.
The North Carolina Division of Prisons will suspend visitation to all the state’s prisons effective Monday, March 16.
Yesterday, the governor’s coronavirus task force and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services issued recommendations to limit the spread of the virus that included restricting visitors for residential establishments to include correctional facilities.
“We have made this difficult decision in light of the DHHS recommendations and to reduce the risk of this disease getting into prisons and spreading,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “This was a difficult decision. I know this will not be good news to offenders and their families, but this is being done with everyone’s health and safety in mind.”
If the threat level from the disease increases over the weekend, visitation may be suspended before Monday. The suspension will be reviewed every 30 days.
The Division of Prisons will make efforts to allow increased offender phone calls to their families and friends and will work on increasing recreational opportunities while visitation is suspended.
Volunteer visits to the prisons will be suspended as well for the next 30 days.
Legal visitation and pastoral care visits will continue to be allowed and they will be subject to medical screening. All vendors and contractors doing business with facilities also will be screened prior to entering a prison facility.