When a person has been arrested and locked away, it can be hard for them to stay in contact with loved ones. Some people may choose to visit their loved one in jail so there interaction doesn’t have to be as distant as a phone call. While this is a viable option, it is important to remember that you cannot just walk into any jail and ask to visit a loved one.
The exact requirements vary from jail to jail, but there is usually a bit of paperwork required beforehand. In some jail, inmates have to create a list of people who they would like to visit. If someone isn’t on that list, they can’t come in. At many jails, people who want to visit will have to fill out a visitor application. The jail will use this to determine if they will let the person come to visit.
Each jail has its own set of visiting hours, meaning a person can only visit their loved one during those times. Most items can’t be brought into the jail, including things like purses and jewelry. These sort of items are best left inside the car. You should also be prepared to go through a screening process as you enter the jail. Some jails may screen your car as you drive in, and all of them will screen people as they enter. In some rare instances, this could include a strip search.
People will only be granted access to visit if they have a valid government issued ID with them. There are very few items that a person can bring with them inside, these can include:
- Eyeglasses, for medical reasons
- One car key
- Small bills or change for vending machines
Just like all of the other rules with inmate visitations, this list can vary from jail to jail. Some jails do provide lockers to store items in while visiting an inmate.
More and more, jails are starting to allow video visitations. With this, the visit is basically a Skype call, where a person can call in from their home. There is less of a screening process with this method and a person doesn’t have to leave the comforts of their own home while still getting to see their loved one’s face.
When visiting someone in jail, don’t expect to be able to walk right in and say hello. There is a whole process and again, it varies from jail to jail. If you want to visit your loved one in jail, be sure to check out the jail’s website for more information on their visiting guidelines.