Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting Texas Inmates
One of the most important aspects of an inmate's well being is having visits from family and friends. Studies have shown that inmates who receive more visits are less likely to re-offend after release. Prisons face the daunting challenge of encouraging visitors, while at the same time enforcing rules that may discourage or even seem pointless to some. It is important to know the rules and procedures of the institution to ensure you can attend a visiting session and your visit goes smoothly. To make visiting an inmate in Texas easier for everyone we have compiled the most important things to know before you visit:
- All visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitation list. The offender will establish this list during the initial intake process, and may update the list periodically throughout their incarceration.
- In order for the offender to add you to their approved visitors list they must know your full name, date of birth, and current address. If the inmate does not know this information you should send it to them in a letter. You can verify you are an approved visitor by calling the unit.
- Before you attend a visiting session you should confirm the current location of the inmate by calling the facility. At the same time you should ensure that visitation times have not changed or been canceled for the day you plan on visiting.
- All visitors 18 and older must present a valid photo identification which can be any of the following:
- State driver's license
- State issued identification card, or Visa border crossing ID card
- Military ID
- State Department of Public Safety ID
- Anyone 17 and under may also be required to present ID in the form of a birth certificate or student ID.
- All visitors and their vehicles will be searched and are required to pass through a metal detector. The facility may utilize electronic detection devices and canines to aid in their search.
Some additional information you should know when visiting an inmate in Texas:
- Anyone visiting in a religious role also known as a spiritual visit must gain approval through the warden's office.
- Inmates are limited to one visit per weekend.
- Visits are usually two hours in duration, but the length of a visit may very if overcrowding exists or other circumstances arise.
- If you are traveling over 300 miles to visit you can arrange to have a special visit. Special visits must be requested through the warden's office well in advance and are subject to approval. Special visits can be as long as four hours in duration and can occur two days in a row. Special visits are limited to once per month.
- Anyone who fails to listen to the directives of the staff, or who is disruptive/presents improper conduct will have their visit terminated and may be subject to having their visiting privileges revoked.
- You are allowed to bring up to $25 in quarters contained in a small clear Ziploc bag to purchase items from the visiting room vending machines. Paper currency is not allowed.
- Cell phones, tablets, computers, cameras, recording devices, electronic devices of any kid, food, drinks, tobacco and related products such as lighters and matches are not allowed to enter the facility, leave these items in your car.
- If you are visiting in a pickup truck, the bed of the truck must be clear and have no items in it. All vehicles must be secured with windows up and doors locked.
- Do not blast your car music anywhere on or around the unit grounds.
- If you are traveling with an infant or small child you are allowed to bring a clear Ziploc bag with up to three diapers, a small amount of baby wipes, and two "sippy" cups or plastic baby bottles.
- All children must be attended and under the visitors control at all times, disruptive children can cause your visit to terminate early.
For more information on visiting you can view the following video released by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
Dress Code for Visitors of Texas Inmates
All visitors must adhere to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice dress code. The dress code is strictly enforced, and violating it is grounds for your visit being denied. To ensure compliance be sure to dress conservatively, read over the dress code rules, and always contact the facility if you have any additional questions. We recommend you always leave a change of clothes in your car so that if an article of clothing you are wearing is deemed inappropriate, you can quickly change and not miss out on a visit.
- Any clothing that contains images or language that is offensive or profane is not allowed.
- Shorts and skirts can be no shorter then three inches above the middle of the knee while standing.
- Flip-flops, sandals, slippers, open toed shoes and steel toed boots are not allowed.
- All shirts on men and women must cover the shoulders, dresses included.
- Clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or other large areas of skin is not allowed.
- No clothes that are tight fitting, including spandex, leggings, tank tops, tube tops etc. are not allowed.
- Clothing that is sheer or see-through is prohibited.
If you have a question about visiting an inmate in a Texas prison, 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, please leave us a comment below.