(1) The Legislature finds that maintaining an inmate’s family and community relationships through enhancing visitor services and programs and increasing the frequency and quality of the visits is an underutilized correctional resource that can improve an inmate’s behavior in the correctional facility and, upon an inmate’s release from a correctional facility, will help to reduce recidivism.
(2) The department shall provide, at a minimum, the following services at designated visiting areas for approved visitors in state correctional facilities:
(a) Information relating to applicable visiting regulations, dress codes, and visiting procedures.
(b) A sheltered area, outside the security perimeter, for visitors waiting before and after visiting inmates.
(c) Food services with food choices which are nutritious and acceptable for children and youth visitors.
(d) Minimal equipment and supplies which assist staff and visitors in managing and occupying the time and meeting the needs of children and youth visitors.
(3) Upon determining any deficiencies and barriers to the effective and efficient operation of the department’s visitation program and services, the secretary shall submit annual budget requests identifying capital improvements, staffing, and programmatic needs necessary to improve the quality and frequency of family visits and the visitation program and services.