AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Starting next Monday, both Potter and Randall County jails will allow visitations.
The 20 minutes usually allotted will remain the same, but the process will change for both.
The jails first had to devise a plan to ensure they are limiting the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.
Both plans have been approved by the Amarillo Public Health Department and the Texas Commission on jail standards.
Visitors at the Randall County Jail must first register online and set an appointment 24 hours in advance.
They will be open from 8:00 a.m. through 11:00 a.m. in the morning and then from 1:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m. in the evening.
Meanwhile, Potter County will open up visitation from 8:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. in the morning and then from 6:30 p.m. in the evening to 9:30 p.m. at night.
It will also be based on an alphabetical order with inmate’s last names assigned to different days of the week.
For those who’s loved ones have been booked in the past three weeks, they ask that you call them first at (806) 335-4100 to make sure they are out of their quarantine period and can take visitors.
- Monday - Inmates with last name beginning with A - D
- Tuesday - Inmates with last name beginning with E - J
- Wednesday - Inmates with last name beginning with K - N
- Thursday - Inmates with last name beginning with O - R
- Friday - Inmates with last name beginning with S - Z
Some of the visiting booths at Potter County will be blocked off to increase spacing, reducing the number of people in the visiting area by about half. Visitors will also be required to wear masks.
Groups will enter and leave the area at the same time, then staff will come in to spray and disinfect the place before the next group.
Randall County plans to have the same disinfecting process along with other procedures.
“We’re asking visitors not to come in until 10 minutes prior to their visitation time to begin. That way we can practice social distancing,” said Captain Matt Stockstill, Randall County Jail Administrator. “We will have hand sanitation centers inside visitation and temperature monitors so you can self check as you come in.”
Stockstill notes the inability to see loved ones increases tensions and this will be an effective way of reducing frustration inside the jail.
Potter County Sheriff, Brian Thomas, says this will be appreciated by the inmates and their families who haven’t seen each other in almost a year.
“We have phones in our cells but it’s the face to face that they haven’t been able to see and that is rough,” said Thomas “Some people may go ‘Well they are prisoners that is what they get, they should have chose differently’, but they are still human beings and we have to treat them like that.”
Potter County will allow two weekly visits while Randall County will allow two free visits and two paid visits per week.