Visiting an inmate in Indiana

Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting an Inmate in Indiana

Inmate visitation is a critical and influential part of an offenders rehabilitation.  Friends and family members who serve as mentors for the inmate are encouraged to visit as often as allowed.  Statistically inmates maintain a strong social network have a better chance of rehabilitation and a lower chance of returning to prison once they are released.  One of the problems many visitors face is not knowing what is expected of them, and how they go about visiting their inmate.  Potential visitors often feel discouraged and overwhelmed.  To lower your anxiety, and to make visiting more accessible to everyone, we have assembled an extensive list of what you need to know before you visit your inmate in Indiana:

  • First you must request a visiting application from the inmate.  We have a copy of the Indiana Visiting Application on our website, but Indiana Department of Corrections requires that the application be mailed from the inmate directly.
  • Once you have filled out the application, mail it back to the facility your inmate is currently incarcerated in.  You will need to wait several weeks for the application to be processed.
  • Applications must be completed for all visitors, if the visitor is under 18 they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who has also been approved for visiting.  The parent/guardian must also fill out a visiting application on behalf of the minor.
  • Minors must also have an 'Authorization for a minor child to visit' form filled out and notarized.  A copy of the minor's birth certificate must be attached to the authorization form when you submit it.
  • The facility will not tell you if you have been approved or denied.  Instead they leave it up to the inmate to inform you of your visiting status.  If you are unsure ask the inmate the next time they call, or write a letter to them asking about your visiting status.  Do not call the facility and ask, they will never give your visiting status over the telephone.
  • Each facility has different visiting hours, we have listed the visiting hours on each facilities page on our website, however you should still contact the facility before you visit to ensure the hours have not change, and that visitation has not been canceled due to a lockdown of the facility.
  • A visitor is only allowed to be on one inmate's visiting list at a time (Legal visits are not included in this).
  • Inmates are allowed up to 12 approved visitors on their list.
  • You may not bring any tobacco products, lighters, weapons, or electronics of any kind including cameras, cell phones, and music devices into the prison.  Bringing these items into the prison may result in charges being prosecuted against you.
  • Drugs, weapons, and alcohol are not allowed anywhere on institutional grounds, this includes your vehicle.
  • All visitors and their property, including automobiles, may be searched.  You will need to walk through a metal detector and the prison may utilize K-9 units.
  • If you are an attorney, government or law enforcement official you are not bound by the visiting hours and visiting applications process/rules, you will however need approval from the head of the facility.

Some additional information you should know when visiting an Indiana prison:

  • All visitors must provide a valid photo ID such as a driver's license, military ID, passport or state issued ID.
  • Minors must provide a copy of their birth certificate when they visit.
  • Video visitation is also available at select prisons through a third party vendor called JPAY, visit their website for more information.
  • In order to qualify for video visitation you must still be on the inmate's approved visitation list.
  • You can embrace briefly at the start and end of visitation.  A brief kiss is also allowed.  The only other contact that can occur is hand holding above the table.  Any other touching will result in the visit being terminated.
  • You may bring up to $20 in quarters to purchase items from the visiting area vending machines.  At no point can you give any money to the offender.
  • At no time can you give any items to the inmate, this will be considered trafficking by the institution.

Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visitors of Indiana Inmates

One of the most important things to remember when visiting an inmate in Indiana, is that you must follow a dress code.  The dress code is in place to ensure the safety and security of the institution, as well as to ensure that no one is offended or made uncomfortable by the dress of any visitor.  We suggest that you always bring a change of clothes to leave in your car in case a staff member objects to something you are wearing.  Having a change of clothing will enable you to quickly change and ensure you are not turned away from visitation.

  • It shouldn't have to be said, but all visitors must wear underwear.
  • You cannot wear hats, sunglasses or any items that cover your face with the exception of religious clothing.  Religious clothing will still be removed and searched to enter into visitation.
  • Jewelry may not be worn, with the exception of a single wedding band.
  • Shoes must be worn at all times (except for infants who are carried).
  • Heavy coats and sweaters are not allowed in the visiting area.
  • All shirts and blouses must have sleeves.
  • No tight fitting or see through/sheer pants or tops may be worn.  This means you may not wear stirrups, Lycra, leggings, spandex, halter tops, tank tops, tube tops, or any other clothing that is low cut, shows the midriff, or excessive skin.
  • Dresses and skirts can be worn but must not rise more than 2 inches above the knee and cannot have slits.
  • Do not wear uniforms, or clothing that resembles clothing the inmates are wearing.
  • Clothing that contains offensive images or language are prohibited.

If you have a question about visiting an inmate in Indiana, or have already visited your inmate and would like to share your experience, leave us a comment below.  If you know of some other useful information about Indiana prisons, please share it with other potential visitors by leaving a comment below.