The Department understands the importance of visitation and attorney/client activity and will continue to use the re-opening committee, facility leadership and resident feedback to assess and monitor the situation.
Attorney Visits - Full Updated NHDOC Guidance (Currently Phase 1)
Attorney Visits Attorney Visits/Access to residents will be managed in three (3) phases as long as the Department is still faced with a COVID-19 pandemic - based on COVID-19 prevalence rates both in New Hampshire as tracked and published at https://www.nh.gov/covid19/ and in surrounding States.
Phase 1 – In-person attorney visits between residents and all approved attorneys based on the state administrative rules outlined in Cor 305 with COVID-19 and departmental staffs’ internal procedures that include COVID-19 screening including temperature check, mask requirements, hygiene and sanitation practice requirements and physically distanced without prolonged exposure.
Continued access to Confidential Attorney Video Visits*
Phase 2 - Departmental facilities will post operational access for non-contact visits for attorneys assigned to active cases on behalf of residents incarcerated in NHDOC facilities. These non-contact visits for attorneys will be on a first come first serve basis. Each facility will have a schedule of available times with cleaning completed between each attorney non-contact visit for both the attorney side and resident side of the non-contact spaces. Attorneys will be required to bring and wear their own fabric face covering, surgical mask or N95 mask. Attorneys who do not wear a mask will not be permitted access to the visiting space. Attorney’s will be required to complete the NHDOC COVID-19 screening and pass it in order to enter for the non-contact visit. There will be no exchange of paperwork between attorneys and residents permitted.
Continued access to Confidential Attorney Video Visits*
Phase 3 – Access to Confidential Attorney Video Visits* Continued Telephonic privileged access through our communications contract. At the time of this guidance document, GTL has agreed to make all calls placed to attorney numbers free to residents. This means, in addition to the one 5-minute free call per week to any number, all calls to attorneys will be free of charge. (a) Residents will still need to have the attorney's number in their list of numbers authorized for calling. (b) If the attorney is working remotely and needs to provide a new number to the resident, 29 NHDOC COVID-19 GENERAL & DIVISION SPECIFIC PROTOCOLS the resident will request to place that new number on their list of authorized numbers. (c) Attorneys in the New Hampshire Criminal Bar, and the Public Defenders offices, have been instructed to provide any new number to the resident, along with a letter to DOC, which confirms the number is a valid number authorized for attorney/client communications. (d) To the extent a resident attempts to manipulate the privilege by falsifying a new number not associated with their attorney, disciplinary action may be taken including violations such as, but not limited to 57A, 76A, or 68B. If an attorney needs to communicate in an unprivileged manner (e.g. to get a quick message to the client asking the client to call), the attorney may sign up through https://web.connect.network.com/ to access a resident who has a messaging account. (Please recognize messages using this method are subject to monitoring, and thus not privileged communications). If an attorney cannot reach a resident, either through the mail as it is time-sensitive, and the above two methods have proven unsuccessful, the attorney may contact the case counselor/case manager who can get a message to the resident to call the attorney. If the attorney does not know who their client's case counselor is, then assistance can be obtained through the warden's secretary at each facility to learn the name of the case counselor. Attorneys may access the resident in certain instances via telephonic communications supported by the Case Management team, but such communications should not be considered attorney/client privileged communications. Attorneys are also still able to communicate through the mail process, which maintains the confidential/privileged communication. If the attorney has an emergent need, the facility's warden/director may be contacted for decision making specific to the case needs.
* Access to Confidential Attorney Video Visits is through the Telecommunications contract for residents – NHDOC will actively work to advance this access.
Effective June 6-8, 2021 depending on facility
Phase 1 - In-person visits between residents and all approved visitors based on the state administrative rules outlined in Cor 305 with COVID-19 and departmental staff internal procedures that include COVID-19 screening including temperature check, mask requirements, hygiene and sanitation practice requirements and physically distanced without prolonged exposure to other groups of visitors. Residents will be required to sign a release associated with risks of exposure to COVID-19 that may occur during visits. Visitors will be required to complete the screening form and visitor release statement to visit. Notice will be posted to residents and potential visitors on the format of these in person visits to ensure awareness and compliance with protective measures in place. Detailed Framework outlined in the May 14, 2021 Memo.
Please see the below update dated May 14, 2021 outlining the guidance around the resumption of in-person visitation.
Video Visits are still authorized
**You must be an approved visitor to have a regular or video visit. If you are not already approved please fill out attachment # 3 of the visiting policy and attachment # 5 for children. You will mail the filled out forms to the resident and they will complete the approval process on their end.