Visiting an inmate in Michigan

Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting a Michigan Inmate

Visitation is an important element of the rehabilitation process.  When inmates have close ties to their family and community through visitation, they are less likely to have behavioral issues while incarcerated, and less likely to re-offend once release.  Visitation is highly anticipated by inmates, but often times getting people to visit a correctional institution can be a challenge.  Potential visitors often feel discouraged and overwhelmed at how to go about visiting an inmate.  In order to make visiting an inmate in Michigan easier for everyone, we have assembled some of the essential things you should know.

  • Before you can attend a visiting session with your inmate, you must first complete a Michigan visitors application.  The application must be accurately and fully filled out, partial applications are not processed.  Background checks are performed on all potential visitors.
  • Minors who are visiting an inmate must also submit a Michigan visitors application.  In addition, a copy of the minor's birth certificate must also be submitted with the application (the copy will not be returned).
  • Once the visiting application has been filled out it will need to be mailed back to the facility the inmate is located in, along with a self addressed and stamped envelope.  The self addressed and stamped envelope will be used to send notification of your applications status as either denied or approved.
  • When the inmate first goes through intake they will fill out a visitors list and identify immediate family members, they can have an additional ten visitors on their list who are not immediate family.
  • You may only visit during allowed visitation hours.  You can view the visiting hours for inmates in Michigan here.
  • You are only allowed to be on one inmate's visiting list at a time.  Exceptions to this rule can be made by the warden if their is just cause.
  • All visitors must present a valid photo ID such as a driver's license, state ID, military ID, or passport at each visit.  Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must have an original or certified true copy of their birth certificate with them.
  • All visitors including minor will be searched and must pass through a metal detector.  Canines may be utilized by the facility to aid in preventing contraband from entering into the prison.
  • Do not bring any cell phones, cameras, recording devices, music devices, or any other electronics into the facility.
  • You can bring a maximum of $25 per visitor in dollar coins and quarters into the facility to purchase items from the visiting vending machines.  Some institutions will require you to exchange money for a vending debit card.

Some additional information you may want to know when visiting an inmate in Michigan:

  • You must be processed into visitation prior to the last 60 minutes of the visiting hours.  Visitors who arrive within the last hour of the visiting hours will not be allowed to enter into visitation.
  • If you are visiting with an infant you will be allowed to bring two clear plastic baby bottles, a single pacifier, and a single layered baby blanket.  Toddlers can have a clear plastic spill proof sippy cup.  Breastfeeding your infant is not allowed in the visiting room.
  • Some facilities sell photo tickets which allow you to take a photo with the inmate while visiting.
  • An immediate family member is permitted to bring legal documents into visitation, but they will be searched and reviewed prior to entering into visitation, and will not be allowed to be left with the inmate when you leave visitation.  If you are not an attorney the only way you can leave legal documents with the inmate is to mail it, attorney's can leave legal paperwork with the front desk.
  • No items can ever be given to the inmate during a visit.
  • Tobacco related products are not allowed in visitation, all facilities are smoke free.
  • You may only communicate with the inmate you are visiting.
  • Your visit will be terminated early if you have inappropriate or disruptive behavior.  Touching, kissing, fondling, exposing yourself, fighting, arguing, having a loud conversation, or not complying with a command by the staff are all grounds for your visit being terminated.

Dress Code and Rules for Visitors of Michigan Inmates

You should be aware that their is a strict dress code that must be adhered to when visiting any inmate in Michigan.  If you fail to comply with the dress code, your visit will be denied.  It is up to the discretion of the guards on duty to interpret and enforce the dress rules, which means what you wear to one visit may not be accepted at a subsequent visit.  Because of this we encourage all visitors to bring a change of clothing with them and leave it in their car.  This allows you to quickly change in the event that an item of clothing your are wearing is deemed inappropriate.

  • You may not wear sleeveless shirts, or shorts.
  • You may not wear dirty clothes or clothing with holes.
  • undergarments and shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Any clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or other excessive skin is not allowed.
  • Skirts, shorts, and dresses that are above the knee or have a slit above the knee are 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.
  • Extremely loose fitting clothes are not allowed.
  • Anyone fourteen years and younger must have clothing that covers from the base of the neck to the top of the knees.
  • Any clothing that closely resembles the inmates clothes or the staffs clothes is prohibited.
  • Uniforms such as military or doctors/nurse scrubs are restricted from being worn.
  • Any items that cover the face including hats and sunglasses are not allowed to be worn.
  • If your clothing contains offensive language or images you will not be allowed to visit.
  • Hooded sweatshirts are not allowed.
  • Refrain from wearing jewelry, up to ten pieces may be worn but will be itemized upon entry and exit of the facility.

If you have a question about visiting an inmate in Michigan, have already visited your inmate and would like to share your experience, or know of some other useful information, please leave your comments below.