You are about to visit your prison inmate, and you would like to know the rules regarding visitation. Before we begin, you might consider looking up the Visitor’s Information or Visitor’s Handbook listed on your state Department of Corrections website. This information would be valuable in assessing specifically appropriate visiting rules.
What to wear. When visiting your inmate, you should be dress appropriately for the prison rules. Different prisons have different rules, so consider calling up the Administrative Offices to get more information. In every prison, though, apparel must not be see-through or evocative. Also, certain body parts must be entirely clothed. Shoes must be sturdy, close-toed shoes without excessive heel. Pants or skirts must be knee-length or longer. Tops must cover your entire midriff and cleavage and must not bare shoulders. No tank tops or spaghetti strap tops allowed. Sheer material is frowned upon and must not be worn without opaque material underneath. All visitors must wear full underwear, underwear straps or lines should not be showing and underwear must achieve full coverage.
Different prisons have different color schemes for the apparel worn by prisoners. It is against prison rules for visitor’s clothing to in any way match prison attire, including make, material and color of inmate’s clothing. This discourages people from switching clothing, exchanging clothing and it helps keep prisoners from escaping.
How to behave. When visiting your prisoner, remember to keep a low profile. This is not something special and you do not deserve hero status because you are visiting an inmate. Prison staff can become irritated by arrogance, public displays of power or anger, and in-your-face behavior. Submit to their authority and conduct yourself in a quiet demure manner.
When visiting your inmate in a public visiting room or in a private room, do not use loud, obnoxious behavior. Speak in a low voice so that others are not hearing or listening in on your conversations. When you give out personal or identifiable information concerning a prisoner or yourself, you are putting both of you in a dangerous situation. Other inmates can hear what is being said and may try to harm you or your prisoner later on. Be discreet and try not to discuss financial matters in a public room.
Some prisons allow you to bring small amounts of cash to use in the vending machine in the visitor’s area. Occasionally, you will be asked to not leave and then come back, but to stay for the entire visiting time, due to the potential for prisoners escaping. Read your Visitor Information for that prison and be nice to the guards.