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How to Prepare for Your Inmate Visit: A Guide

In 2020, there were 1.8 million people incarcerated around the United States. Although there isn’t much that can make a person feel like they aren’t behind bars, some things can provide them with some momentary comfort, including visits.

If you’re preparing for an inmate visit, there are some things you need to do before making your way to the jail. We’ve created a brief comprehensive guide that will fill you in on the steps you need to take to ensure you make the most of your visitation time.

Complete an Application

If you’ve got a loved one behind bars, you can’t decide if you want to visit them before completing an inmate visiting application. The inmate will need to request a form for you to fill out.

Once returned with your information, you will then find your name on the inmate’s visitor list. Without being on the list, you’re not permitted to visit. Keep in mind your application can be denied if:

  • You’ve got arrest warrants outstanding
  • You’re a parolee
  • Provided falsified application information

There are several other reasons your application might be denied, but these are just a few. You will need to wait until you hear back from the inmate to see whether the application has been approved or not.

Determine Where the Inmate Is

The last thing you want to do is arrive for your visit to find out your loved one isn’t incarcerated or has been moved to another facility. Locating an inmate will ensure you’re visiting the correct facility.

There are several online resources you can use to find the location of someone that’s in the system. If you’re not able to find a system that allows you to check via their online portal, you can always call the number listed on the website.

Follow the Rules

Before visiting, you need to ensure you’ve taken the time to review what you can and cannot bring or do during the visit. If not, you will be turned away, and your visitation time will be forfeited.

For example, in most facilities, you won’t be able to bring in things like:

  • Illegal substances
  • Electronic devices such as phones

The facility will also detail the clothing that is allowed during visitation. If you’ve got children you’ll bring to the visit, you’ll need to ask what you’re allowed to bring in, such as diapers and formula.

Be On-Time

Don’t show up at the selected time of your visit; show up about twenty minutes before then. Most facilities will have you check-in before your visit to ensure you’ve abided by the rules.

If you don’t show up on time, you could miss your visit. Showing up early gives you time to fill out the necessary forms and provide proper identification. If you choose not to be searched by police personal, you won’t enter the facility for your visit.

Preparing for an Inmate Visit

When you’re preparing for an inmate visit, there are several things you need to do. The most important things are locating the inmate and ensuring you follow the guidelines of the facility.

Before you go on your visit, we encourage you to take the time to scroll through some of our other posts.

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