Visiting an inmate in Georgia

Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting a Georgia Inmate

Many people shy away from visiting their inmate simply because the process can be overwhelming.  Without knowing what to expect, many people are often to intimidated or discouraged to pursue visiting their friend or loved one.  The most common problem when it comes to visiting an inmate, is people don't know where to start.  That is why we have assembled answers to the most frequently asked questions and created this general guide to visiting an inmate in Georgia.  Here is what you need to know:

  • During the initial classification and diagnostic procedure inmates will not be allowed to have visitors.  This process is usually completed fairly quickly, but at times can take over 60 days.  If it the diagnostic process goes over 60 days the inmate will be allowed to complete a visitors list of immediate family members.
  • Immediate family members are defined as parents, children, spouse, brothers or sisters, grandparents, and grandchildren.
  • The offender must contact their counselor and complete a visitation list form.  In order to complete this form the inmate will need to know the full name, address and date of birth of the visitor.
  • If you are not an immediate family member as defined above the inmate will need to complete a significant relationship visitor application form (a sample of the form is found here).
  • A visitors list can only be established when the inmate first arrives at their permanent facility.  After this, inmates can only update their visiting list in May and November.
  • If you are traveling from out of state, or only one time you may qualify as a "special visit".  Special visits must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance and require the Warden/Superintendent's approval.  People who often qualify for a special visit are members of the military who are visiting while on personal leave, clergy, family members with disabilities that require a third party to drive them to visitation, and anyone traveling a long distance out-of-state.  Special visits can have no more than two visitors during the visit.
  • Regular visitation occurs on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.
  • The duration of the visit will depend on how crowded the facility is, and other factors that may arise.
  • Anyone 16 years or older must provide a valid state or government issued photo ID.
  • Generally, no items other than your ID, a single car key, and maximum of $20 in coins can come with you into the facility.  All other items, cell phones, radios, cameras etc. are not allowed to come with you.
  • If you are traveling with a small child/baby you may be allowed to bring other items such as a single clear plastic baby bottle, diaper, and sealed formula.  You will need to contact the individual institution for more specific information.
  • Minors, or anyone under the age of 16 must bring a birth certificate with them to visitation, and be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also on the visiting list for the inmate.
  • All visitors will be searched and must pass through a metal detector.  Your car may also be searched once it is on the property of the institution.

When visiting an inmate in Georgia, some additional information you may want to know is:

  • You should arrive at the facility at least 30 minutes prior to the visitation period to ensure you have enough time to park, and go through visitor registration and processing procedures.
  • Non-contact visitation is conducted behind a window, or partition that keeps you physically separate from the inmate.
  • Contact visits allow a brief hug and a kiss at the beginning and end of each visit.
  • Tobacco related products are not allowed in visitation, all facilities are smoke free.
  • If you leave the visiting room you may not be allowed to reenter, so use the bathroom in the lobby before entering into visitation.

Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visitors of Georgia Inmates

It is important to know there is a dress code and contact rules that must be followed when you are visiting an inmate in Georgia.  The code is strictly enforced by the staff, so be sure you read over and follow all of the following:

  • All visitors must wear shoes at all times (excludes babies).
  • Men who are visiting must wear a shirt and full length pants.
  • Women may wear full length pants, dress or skirt, but it must not be more than two inches above the knee.
  • All men and women who are visiting must wear underwear, including bras, and panties.
  • Some visitors have reported that certain facilities require a collared shirt to be worn by visitors.
  • No one over 12 years old may wear shorts.
  • No clothing may be sheer or see through, or made of net or mesh webbing.
  • Tube tops, tank tops, halter tops, spandex, leggings, any dresses or tops with thin straps that expose the shoulders, chest/cleavage, back, or midriff is also prohibited.
  • Clothing that contains offensive language or images may not be worn.
  • Uniforms, such as military fatigues, nurse, doctor, or any clothing that resembles what the inmates are wearing is not allowed.

If you are unsure about the clothing you are going to be wearing, or you want to ensure you are allowed to visit, the best practice is to bring a change of clothing with you and leave it in your car.  This allows you to quickly change in the event that an article of clothing you are wearing is deemed inappropriate.

If you are visiting an inmate in Georgia and have a question, or have already visited your inmate and would like to share your experience, please leave us a comment.  Also, if you know of some other useful information you want to share with other potential visitors, please post it below.