Visiting an inmate in Rhode Island

Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting Rhode Island Inmates

Studies have shown that inmates who maintain close ties with friends, family members and their community are more likely to successfully reintegrate into society.  Visitation is one way to maintain these relationships, and friends and family are encouraged to visit an inmate whenever possible.  Unfortunately many people shy away from visiting an inmate because they find the process confusing and are unsure where to start.  To make visiting more accessible to everyone, we have assembled the information you need to know in order to visit an inmate in Rhode Island.

  • When inmates are first processed into admissions and orientation they will submit a list of up to nine visitors.  Two additional names can be added to the list but will be restricted to making financial deposits to the inmate's account only.  Minor children do not count towards the nine allowable visitors.
  • In order for the inmate to add you to their visiting list they will need to know your full name, address, date of birth and their relationship.
  • During a visitors initial visit they will present their valid photo ID to the reception officer who will conduct a background check on the prospective visitor.  If the visitor clears this background check, they will be allowed to visit once until a NCIC check is performed.  The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) background check usually takes thirty days.
  • All visits must take place on the approved days and times set for each facility.
  • All visitors must bring a valid photo ID, either a driver's license, a state ID, passport, or military ID.  This ID must be presented to the reception desk officer upon entering the facility.  The officer will ensure your name appears on the visitors list and that the inmate is allowed to receive visits on that day.
  • All visitors are required to pass through a metal detector and can be searched by narcotic detection equipment or canines.  Additionally visitors may be required to submit to a frisk or pat down search by a member of the same sex in order for them to enter into visitation.
  • Visits can be denied if you refuse a search, lack proper identification or do not have valid ID, if it is not the proper visiting day or time for your inmate, if you are carrying something illegal, or if you do not comply with the dress code (outlined below).
  • No visitors may bring a weapon into the facility, including law enforcement officers.
  • Tobacco and tobacco related products including lighters and matches are prohibited from entering into the facility, leave these items in your car.
  • Cell phones, cameras, music devices, recording devices and electronics of any type are not allowed to enter into the facility.
  • Jewelry with the exception of wedding rings are not allowed.

Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visitors of Rhode Island Inmates

All prisons in Rhode Island have a dress code.  The dress code exists to ensure the safety, security and order of the facility, and to protect staff members, visitors, and inmates.  The dress code is strictly enforced and failure to adhere to it will result in a denial of your visit, because of this we recommend you always leave a change of clothing in your car.  This will ensure you can quickly change if an article of clothing you are wearing is deemed inappropriate, and will prevent you from missing out on a visiting session.

  • Any clothing that closely resembles the inmates clothes (khaki, beige) or the staffs clothes is prohibited.
  • Uniforms such as military (includes any camoflouge), or doctors/nurse scrubs are restricted from being worn.
  • Undergarments must be worn, bras that contain under-wire are discouraged as they may set off the metal detector.
  • Clothing that contains metal buttons, zippers, buckles and other metal clothing and hair accessories including metal pins/clips/ornaments should not be worn as they will set off the metal detector.
  • Swimwear including bathing suits, flip-flops, and sandals are prohibited from being worn.
  • Overalls  or 'farmers jeans' are prohibited.
  • Hooded clothing is not allowed.
  • Hats, bandanas, headbands, sunglasses or any other item that covers the face is prohibited.  Religious clothing may be worn but will be required to be removed and searched by a member of the same sex.
  • Sleeveless shirts or clothing of any kind is prohibited.
  • Skirts, dresses, and shorts must not be more than 2" above the knee (including slits).
  • No clothing may have torn out pockets, or have holes, tears, or rips in them.
  • See through or sheer clothing is not allowed.
  • Low cut clothing, V-neck shirts/sweaters, tank tops, tube tops, halter tops, or any clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or excessive skin is prohibited.
  • Tight fitting/athletic type clothing including spandex, stirrup, sweat pants, swish pants, leggings and any other form fitting clothes are not allowed.
  • If your clothing contains offensive language or images you will not be allowed to visit.

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