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Posted By Emre Umar

Your loved one has recently been incarcerated and scheduling a visit is not a five-minute process, although the process is typically straightforward. Listed below is the items to know if you would like to visit a loved one and how to do it in the simplest fashion.

Entering a new facility

After entering a facility, an inmate is given a Visitor Information Form. The inmate will fill out their portion and mail it to their desired visitor(s) who will fill out the remaining portions and mail it back. A prison may request more background information and could contact other law informant agencies like the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). If a visitor(s) is denied, it is the inmate responsibility to inform this person.

Who can visit?

Visitors can include immediate family (parents, siblings, wife, and children) and relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.). However, there can be no more than 10 friends or associates listed. That does not include, foreign officials, employers, sponsors, attorneys, etc. It is important that an inmate lists the most important persons first to get the process moving quickly for them to visit.

Entering the prison: dress code

Once approved, there is a dress code that is required for each person visiting. The prison mandates that no one should be allowed into the visiting center with clothing that could be found provocative. This could result in your being denied visitation. This kind of dress could include: sundresses, miniskirts, crop tops, clothing that looks like inmate clothing, etc. Be aware of the specifics for the prison you are visiting before arrival.

Visiting Hours

Every inmate is allotted four hours of visiting time per month, the prison can provide more on a discretionary basis. The warden, however, can restrict the length of visits or the number of people allowed to visit at once to avoid an overcrowded visiting room. All institutions have visiting hours on Saturdays, Sundays, and major holidays and sometimes with hours during the week. It is best to check with the prison for dates and times.

Behavior and Contact

The prison’s goal with each visit is to keep the room quiet and orderly. A visiting room officer can abruptly end a visit if you or an inmate are not acting appropriately. The contact allowed can vary with the prison and/or inmate, it is always best to keep it to a minimum though. The staff may further limit contact if they fear a security breach.

Visits from friends and family are vital to an inmate so they feel they are still connected to their life outside of prison. A visit can be therapeutic for both you and the inmate. 

 
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