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COVID-19 & Texas Law

This guide is updated to reflect information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information in this guide is subject to change at any time.

Jail & Incarceration

Jail or Prison Visits


Due to an executive order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, most in-person visitation at city and county jails is currently suspended.

State Prisons

Due to COVID-19 the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has suspended most in-person visitation at state prisons. A new video visitation program has been set up at some facilities.

Federal Prisons

Visitation had been suspended, but inmates at federal prisons may now have social visits with some restrictions. See the Federal Bureau of Prison's website for more information about visitation requirements.

Release Without Bail, "Cite and Release," or Early Commutation of Sentence

Some county and municipal jails may be seeking to reduce their inmate populations in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Executive Order No. GA-13

On March 29th, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott placed limits on which types of inmates can be released without bail or have their sentence commuted during the COVID-19 outbreak. The order was challenged in the courts.

Guidance for Jails 

Compassionate Release

Health & Safety Measures Taken by Jails and Prisons


Recommendations & Updates

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