Women’s prison in Kitchener remains closed to visitors

It is the only federal agency in Ontario that still does not allow personal visits from inmates

It is not clear when inmate visits to the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener will be allowed to resume.

The women’s prison is the only federal institution in Ontario that does not currently allow face-to-face visits.

A spokesman for Correctional Service Canada (CSC) said Grand Valley (GVI) is currently rated at the “cautionary threshold.”

“As a result, personal visits will be suspended until GVI and the Waterloo area can return to a low-medium risk level,” said Mike Shrider, CSC’s regional communications manager, in an email statement to 570 NEWS.

Shrider added, while there have been no recent COVID-19 cases among inmates, “routines have been changed to ensure adequate physical distancing to prevent the reintroduction and spread of COVID-19.”

Grand Valley saw an outbreak after eight occupant falls last year. No other cases have been reported since then.

According to Schrider, so far more than 85 percent of inmates have received at least one dose of vaccine and over 74.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

He added that CSC has installed additional video visiting kiosks across the country to help inmates stay in touch with family and friends during the pandemic.

The CSC website reveals that a date has yet to be “set” for the resumption of face-to-face visits, and Schrider said the decision to lift the restrictions will be made in consultation with health officials.

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