Jail is a tough place to be. Prisoners doing hard time are constantly seeking ways to make their experience that tiny bit more bearable. One of the best ways to boost the morale of someone in jail is by giving them a visit.
To do so, you need to fill out an inmate visiting application. This application varies depending on the state that the prison is in, but in general, there are a few things that you need to know before you apply to visit.
Let’s take a look at how to visit an inmate.
1. Who Can Visit?
The first thing you need to know is whether or not you are permitted to visit the inmate. Generally speaking, the people who can visit an inmate are:
- Step or Foster Parents
- Children (with a guardian if under 18)
- Legal Counsel
- Up to 10 friends
The list above is not exhaustive, but you need to show the jail that you have some sort of personal connection to the inmate you are attempting to visit.
2. You May Be Denied
Whether or not you can visit the inmate in question is ultimately at the discretion of the jail. They can deny your right to visit for several reasons.
Typically you’ll only be denied if you are involved in any legal troubles. If you’ve recently served time in a federal institution, are on probation, are awaiting a court case, or have a warrant out for your arrest, you will be denied access to the prison.
You’ll also be denied if you or the inmate have a restraining order out against the other or if you are a victim of the offender’s crimes.
3. You Need To Find the Right Inmate
Possibly the main thing you need to know is how to find an inmate. Inmates get moved to different jails and prisons all the time, and it is outside of their control where they serve their time.
You’ll need to conduct an inmate search to find the person you want to visit. Luckily, some sites offer an inmate locater to help you find them. You need to know the inmate’s full name. Knowing their prisoner number will also help.
The more details you have on the inmate, the more likely you are to find them.
4. You Need to be Prepared
Once you know that you are allowed to visit and have the inmate location, you need to get prepared for your visit. If you’ve never visited someone in jail before, it can be quite a scary experience at first, but there are just a few basic rules you need to know ahead of time.
It’s incredibly likely that you’ll be searched upon entry to make sure you’re not bringing contraband into the jail. If you don’t consent to the search, then you won’t be allowed in.
Also, make sure to dress appropriately and behave calmly and politely at all times. If the corrections officers deem your behavior unacceptable, you will be asked to leave, and your visit will be terminated.
5. Plan Your Visit
How far away is the jail? How long will it take you to get there? How long is the visitation?
Jails offer visitations at set times each week, and it’s important that you plan your journey to the jail so that you know that you’re going to get enough time with the inmate you want to visit.
If travel is an issue for you, many jails are now offering inmate video visitation to allow more visitation with less stress for everyone.
Inmate Visiting Application Isn’t As Daunting as it Seems
The important thing to realize is that the inmate visiting application is a fairly straightforward process that’s in place to assess whether or not you have a good reason to be visiting the jail.
If you’re prepared and have all the information you need about the inmate you want to visit and the rules of the jail they are serving time in, you will have no problems.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more of our great informational content today.