What Should You Keep in Mind When Visiting a Jail Inmate?


Quick Answer

When visiting an inmate in jail or prison, review the facility's rules and guidelines for visiting, confirm that you are an approved visitor, schedule your visit in advance, and bring legal identification. Do not wear revealing clothing, leave personal belongings at home, and behave in a quiet, courteous manner.

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What Should You Keep in Mind When Visiting a Jail Inmate?
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Full Answer

Visitation guidelines vary by facility and provide direction regarding such things as the visitor application process, dress code, physical contact, age restrictions and gifts. Visits are usually 15 to 30 minutes long. Minors may be allowed to visit if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. It is very important to adhere to the facility's visitation rules. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of all visitors and inmates. Violating them or confronting guards or jail personnel may cause the visit to be terminated.

Being on time and avoiding cancellations are also important. Frequent late arrivals or no shows may result in a reduction or loss of visitation privileges. Visitors who are on probation or were previously convicted of a felony and served time are usually required to secure approval prior to visiting.

A link to visitation guidelines at 9,000 U.S. jails and prisons is available on jailexchange.com.

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