Jail Guide offers a free community prison forum for people who have questions about prison. Join the Prison Forum

Prison Visitation Rules

Prison visitor handbooks and visitation guides for the families of people in jail or prison making sure every visit is hassle free.

Visitor Policies For Most Prisons and Jails

Mostly all Prisons, Jails, Detention Centers and Work Camps are typically the same when it comes to visitation. All have specific rules for visiting an inmate and most pertain to what you can bring in with you; what you can do and even what you are and aren't allowed to wear.

There are also rules on how to put money on an inmates books and how and where to address and send inmate mail to them in any jail in the world.


One thing we'd like to caution is that in order to visit your incarcerated friend or family member, you must be on their visitors list. If you aren't on a visitation list you will not be allowed access to the facility or to visit the inmate for that matter. Its best to have the inmate put you on the list and let you know when it is ok to visit. So many times I witnessed whole families being turned away because they either weren't on the prison visitation list or just didn't know the rules of the institution.

In order to determine the rules of any prison or jail its best to read up on their policies. In our prison database we have included just about every prison and jail in the world. Click on the inmate search button to the right to look up the prison you'll be visiting. Once you find the prison, if they have a visitors policy a link will be set up to go right to it.

Good luck and God bless. If you need a criminal lawyer its best to post your questions anonymously, you can ask a legal question for free by a qualified criminal lawyer by clicking the banner to the right.


Simple Prison Visitation Policies & Rules To Follow:

Make sure you are on the inmates visitation list. If you are not yet on the list - you may be turned away. Have the incarcerated person notify you when it is time to visit. As well, some prisons do not tell callers about visitation times. For security reasons they do not display this information; the facility leaves it up to the inmate to notify those wishing to visit.

Bring ID

Make sure you have two forms of photo identification with you. This could be a drivers license, military ID, state ID or passport

No Contraband

DO NOT bring anything into the facility that is on the banned items list or that could be deemed "banned". Otherwise known as "contraband". This includes tobacco as most facilities are "tobacco-free". Also remember, if you are caught bringing any "illegal" substance(s) in the prison, you can be prosecuted on misdemeanor or felony charges dependant on the laws in that state.

Wear Underwear

Wear underwear. You (and all your belongings) are also subject to search upon entering the prison visitors area.

No Jewelry

Men(and ladies) Do not wear excessive jewelry. Not only will this take you longer to clear the metal detectors, but other inmates will see your jewelry and perceive your family to be rich. This may cause your loved one to be extorted. So while you like to look your best, do so, but keep the gold and diamonds at home.

Loud Children

Do not bring your children if it is not allowed. Often a child will not be allowed in based on the rules set by the facility. If that is the case and no one is available to watch the child you will have to leave.

No Bras

Ladies. Do not wear a brassiere with a wire in it. You will set off the alarms and you may be searched. Wear a sportsbra that has no under-wire if possible.

Don't Talk Back

Remember to be respectful of the officers. Even though for some strange reason you may feel resentment towards them, they are there to simply do a job - which is basically to keep your loved one safe from other inmates and the public safe from your loved one. I'm not telling you to be overly gracious or fall all over yourself, just respectful. Where you work, would you expect some respect from a customer or client?

Now then, If you are out-of-control, loud and whacko when visiting, you may be asked to leave, trespassed and told never to come back, I've seen this happen. It's understandable to cry, but not to go insane on the guards or people around you. Keep in mind that other inmates are trying to visit with their family. If, for instance, you go berserk and the visiting area has to be shut down - the other inmates probably won't be very happy with the person you came to visit as their cherished family time will be cut short.

No Touching

Do not attempt to touch the inmate if it is not allowed. Always abide by the rules. Its best to know them before you visit.

Don't Talk Loudly

DO NOT talk loud enough for other people to hear, especially if the conversation needs to be private. Its often the case that a snooping inmate will overhear you speaking about wiring money to an account or how hurt you are. I've seen this used against inmates. Just keep the important information to yourselves.

If you are going to help in your son/daughter/husband/wife or other family member's court case you might need more information than may be presented to you, especially if you are unfamiliar with the law. Being unfamiliar with the law puts you at a distinct disadvantage - Jail Guide recommends: court records search for any searches for court paperwork you might need for trial or for any other legal preceding.

Keep in mind that the visit is not only to build the morale for your incarcerated friend or loved one, but its also for you. Not very many people will understand what you, the family member, is going through. You really do need the release of knowing that the family member incarcerated is ok... its only then can you get n with your own life. You are showing them love and commitment by being there as well it should, and probably will be, reciprocated.

Here is a link to a sample visitation guide: Prison Visitation Policies

Investigator Badges

Are you going to Jail or Prison for the first time? Don't know what to expect; who to talk to or what to bring to prison? These are questions your lawyer doesn't know how to answer or won't. Take it from a guy who's been there... Pete Maxwell answers all in his newly revised jail guide. A 144 page survive prison guide:Survive Prison Book "How To Survive In Prison and Jail" - from what to do (and not to do) on the first day to the last and to answering this #1 question from being going to prison for the first time: * Sex and Rape in Prison - how you can avoid being a victim.