Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting Inmates in Washington
Maintaining your relationship with someone who is incarcerated can be challenging. Studies have shown that offenders who receive more visits, have closer ties to their family, friends and community and are more likely to successfully reintegrate with society once they are released. To make the visiting process easier to understand and more accessible to everyone we have assembled the key things you need to know when visiting inmates incarcerated in Washington State prisons:
- The first step in visiting an inmate in Washington is to fill out an inmate visitors application online
- Minors, or anyone under the age of 18 must be on the inmates approved visitors list, be accompanied during their entire visit by a designated escort or parent/legal guardian, a copy of their original birth certificate must be attached to the online visiting application, and DOC 20-441 parent/guardian approval for visiting form. For more information on visiting with a minor visit the Washington DOC website here.
- Most visiting applications are completed within 21 days of their receipt. The facility will notify the inmate of visitors who have been approved or allow the inmate to check a visitors status through a kiosk, so stay in contact with them to find out your status.
- Visitors 18 and older must have a valid photo ID such as a driver's license, state issued ID, US passport, or military ID with them in order to attend a visiting session.
- The number of visitors and duration of visits will vary depending on your inmate's custody level and facilities accommodations.
- All visitors must pass through a metal detector and may be searched. Your car may also be searched once it is on the property of the institution. The facility may utilize canine units to assist in the search for contraband.
Additional information you should know when visiting an inmate in Washington:
- Special visits may be permitted for those who are traveling over 300 miles to visit, those with special transportation services, for professional/legal visits, or for inmates who are hospitalized or on disciplinary status.
- You you can request a special visit by filling out the Special Visit Request form and submitting it to the inmate's counselor. All special visit requests must be submitted well in advance (at least five days or more).
- Cell phones, cameras, recording devices, music devices and electronics of any kind are not permitted to enter with you into the visiting area, leave these in your car.
- Tobacco and tobacco related products such as cigarettes, lighters, and matches are prohibited from entering into the prison, leave these in your car.
- If you appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol you will not be allowed to enter into the visiting area.
- Some facilities will provide vending machines in the visiting area to purchase items from, contact the facility for specifics.
- Lockers are available at some institutions and allow visitors to store their belongings prior to entering into the visiting area. Not all facilities have lockers, contact the institution to find out more.
- If you are visiting with an infant or small child you may be allowed to bring additional items with you into visitation including diapers, baby bottles and wipes. Contact the facility for the exact items they allow.
- For more information about visiting an inmate in Washington read the Department of Corrections Visitation Policy.
Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visitors of Washington Inmates
When visiting an inmate incarcerated in a Washington prison you are required to follow a dress code. The dress code exists to maintain the safety, security and order of the institution. Failure to follow the dress code will result in a denial of visitation. Because the dress code is strictly enforced and can be interpreted differently by each staff member, we recommend you always leave a change of clothing in your car. Having a change of clothes readily available will allow you to quickly change in the event an item of clothing you are wearing is deemed inappropriate.
- Clothing that closely resembles the inmates clothes or the staffs clothes is prohibited.
- Uniforms including military and doctors/nurse scrubs are restricted from being worn.
- Items that cover the face including hats, scarves, bandanas, etc. are not allowed to be worn.
- Any clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or other excessive skin is not allowed.
- If the clothing is tight such as spandex, leggings, tube tops, tank tops, or is sheer or see-through it cannot be worn.
- Skirts, shorts, and dresses that are above the knee or have a slit above the knee are not allowed.
- If your clothing contains offensive language, images or references to drugs, sex, alcohol or gangs you will not be allowed to visit.
- All clothing must be clean and free of tears rips, and holes.
- Hooded clothing is not allowed.
- Heels may not be more than three inches.
- Camouflage clothing, and clothes with multiple side pockets/layers of clothing is not allowed.
If you have a question about visiting an inmate in Washington, or have already visited your inmate and would like to share your experience, please leave us a comment. Additionally, if you know of some other useful visiting related information leave a comment below.