Visiting an inmate in West Virginia

Visitation Application and Rules for Visiting West Virginia Inmates

When someone you know goes to prison maintaining your relationship can become much more difficult.  One of the best ways to keep your relationship healthy is to regularly visit your inmate.  Visitation has become an important aspect of an inmate's rehabilitation and maintaining close ties with friends and family members can later aid the offender upon release, by offering a network they can rely on.  But for those who have never visited a prison before the process can seem overwhelming and disheartening.  To make it easier for everyone and to encourage visitation we have assembled the most important information you need to know when visiting an inmate in West Virginia:

  • Anyone who wishes to visit an offender in West Virginia must begin by filling out a West Virginia Inmate Visitors Application.  The application must be filled out completely and truthfully.  Misinformation and failure to complete the application fully may result in delays and could even cause your application to be denied.
  • The application is required to be mailed out to potential visitors by the inmate, so the application above is for viewing purposes only.  The application sent by the facility will have a 'Return to:' address on the top of the second page (usually the mailing address of the institution the inmate is located in).  This is the address you will mail the application to once it is completed.
  • Anyone who has a pending criminal charge, a warrant, or a detainer will not be eligible for visiting an offender.
  • The facility will take 3-5 weeks to process the visiting application and will complete a background check based upon the information provided.
  • The inmate is responsible for informing all visitors of their application status, so stay in contact with them either through the mail or over the phone to find out if you have been approved.
  • All visitors are required to provide a valid photo ID of themselves in order to enter into visitation.  Valid photo identification includes a driver's license, state ID, US passport, or military ID.
  • All minors must be accompanied by a parent or court appointed guardian who is also on the approved visitation list.
  • When visiting with someone under the age of 18 you should bring the minor's birth certificate with you.
  • Every visitor is required to pass through a metal detector and is subject to search.  The prison may utilize canine units to aid in the search for contraband.  Anyone caught trying to bring illegal items into a correctional facility will be arrested.

Some additional information you should know when visiting an inmate in West Virginia:

  • Anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be turned away from visitation.
  • No weapons, drugs, or other illegal items should be on your persons or in your car when visiting an inmate.
  • Phones, pagers, cameras, recording devices, music devices and electronics are not allowed to enter into the facility, leave these items in your car.
  • Bring only your ID, small bills for vending machines (if allowed), and a single car key.
  • Tobacco and tobacco related products are not allowed in visitation, all facilities are smoke free.
  • If you are traveling an extremely long distance to visit your inmate, you may be eligible for a special visit, contact the facility directly for more information.
  • If you are visiting with an infant or small child you may be allowed to bring additional items such as a diaper, wipes, or plastic baby bottle, contact the specific facility by phone for a list of items you can bring.

Dress Code & Rules for Visitors of West Virginia Inmates

Anyone who wants to visit an inmate incarcerated in a West Virginia prison must follow a dress code. The dress code is strictly enforced, and failure to follow it may result in you being denied entry into visitation.  Because the dress code is open to interpretation we suggest you always leave a change of clothes in your car.  Having a change of clothes will allow you to quickly change if an article you are wearing is deemed to violate the dress code, and may prevent you from missing out on a visitation session.

  • Uniforms including military, camouflage clothing, or doctors/nurse scrubs are restricted from being worn.
  • Clothing that closely resembles the inmates or staffs clothing may not be worn.
  • Any clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or other excessive skin is not allowed.
  • Sleeveless shirts are prohibited.
  • Tight clothing, including spandex, leggings, tube tops, tank tops etc. are not allowed.  Clothing that is sheer or see-through may not be worn.
  • Clothing with holes, tears, rips, or that is dirty/unsanitary is not allowed.
  • Skirts, shorts, and dresses must come to or below the knee and can not have a slit above the knee.
  • Clothing containing offensive language or images such as references to drugs, sex, alcohol, gangs, etc. is prohibited and will result in your visit being denied.

If you are visiting an inmate in West Virginia and have a question, or have already visited your inmate and would like to share your experience, or know of some other useful visiting related information, please leave us a comment below.