The world of prison is very different from the rest of our world.
If you have never been to a prison before, your very first prison visit can be intimidating. The world of prison is very different from the rest of our world. It is like stepping into another universe. All the rules, the security, and the environment are so foreign the first time. There a few things you need to know before you go to visit your man in prison.
The institution posts the prison rules onsite and online. Get them. Read them. Ignorance is not a valid excuse. If you break a rule, you could be denied your visit, your visit could be terminated early, or you could even lose your visiting privileges indefinitely. Knowing the rules, and following the rules are your tickets to getting to see your husband.
What to wear
Wear very modest clothing covering everything from below your knees to your neck. Your should cover shoulders, but you can also wear a short-sleeved shirt. Wear closed toe shoes with socks, and do not use any metal in your hair. Bobby pins are your enemy when it comes to going through security at the prison. Underwires usually set off the metal detector, but they won’t stop you from getting in to see your husband. They might slow you down as you will likely get wanded (the Corrections Officer will take a handheld metal detector and wave it up and down your body to determine what is setting off the walk-through detector), though.
Your visit just started and your kids are acting up again. Everyone is looking at you and you are trying to decide what to do. Should you spank him, sit him in a chair, talk to him? You feel overwhelmed and intimated by all of the people watching you discipline your child.
Prepare yourself emotionally
Although the rules and clothing are important, the most important way to prepare is emotionally and mentally. You are about to see your husband in a very difficult situation. He has lost all of his privileges and is now a ward of the state. He can only do what they allow him to do. His entire life has changed. He will be wearing a prison uniform, told where he must sit and monitored closely during your time together. That part was definitely the hardest part for me.
I didn’t mind the security screening, or the heavy locking doors clanging closed and locked behind me as I made my way to the visiting room once I saw my husband. Nothing else mattered to me as much as seeing him with my own eyes and knowing he was OK. His security to get into the visiting room was so much more invasive than mine. The prison strip searched my husband before and after every visit. My heart still aches for him when I think about it.
As you prepare for your first visit, my advice is to do your best to be prepared for the shock of seeing your husband in prison. That will be the most difficult part of the entire process. It is hard – in a way I cannot even describe to you—to see the person you love in this situation. Seeing him, knowing he is OK, and having time together is the best gift in the world.
I am rooting for you!