Your planning on visiting an inmate, but not sure where to start? This guide will help teach you the things you need to know before you visit.
You may or may not, be aware that you cannot just show up to a correctional facility and visit an inmate. You must complete a visitors application and it must be approved prior to your visit. All correctional facilities have specific days and times that an inmate is allowed to receive a visit. There is usually weekend or weeknight visitation and a visiting time during the week to allow everyone a chance for visiting. Some important things you need to remember about visiting:
- Inmates are limited to the number of visits they can receive each week
- The number of visitors per inmate is restricted
- You must be on an inmate's approved visitation list
- Visitation is a privilege and can be revoked
- The duration of each visit is restricted
- All visitors are subject to search (this includes your car)
- All facilities have a dress code that is strictly adhered to
- Special procedures apply to minors who visit (they must have a parent or legal guardian)
- Legal/professional visits have different times and rules
Visitation times can also be canceled or changed at anytime and without notice, so we always encourage you to call the facility before leaving for your visit. If you are planning on visiting an inmate you should always bring a change of clothes with you, and show up about 15 minutes prior to the visitation time (do not show up earlier then this, as you may get into trouble). Inmates who are in solitary are not allowed to receive visits.
Many people feel scared or apprehensive when they think about visiting a correctional institution, but their is nothing to worry about as long as you know what to expect and what is expected of you. Be aware that the most common experience people have about visitation is good one but many complain about guards being rude and short with people. Enforcing the dress code is also entirely up to the discretion of the guard, so it is a best practice to always bring a change of clothing with you.
Where you can get a visiting schedule
To get the visiting schedule for any jail or prison select the state in which the institution is located. There is a visiting schedule, application, and other inmate related information on each jail and prison below organized by state.
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming
Get a visitors application
Remember, you will need to fill out a visitors application and have it approved before you visit! You can find inmate visitation applications here.