Prison visiting rules
Visiting someone in prison can be super stressful if you are not prepared, but it can be a good time to connect and grow together if you ARE prepared. So, let’s make sure you are prepared to get through the gates and into your husband’s arms!
First, what you wear matters.
It matters a lot! Dress conservatively and casually. No sweat pants, leggings, tight jeans, short skirts, or short shorts. As a precaution, don’t wear shorts at all. If you choose to wear a dress or skirt, be sure it falls well below your knees so you don’t get your visit cancelled. Your shirt should also be very modest and not see-through. Even if you cannot see through it in your house, go outside in the light. If you can see your bra, at all, change your shirt or add an undershirt below your shirt. Your shoulders, back, and chest should all be covered. Shoes must be closed toed and closed heeled. Think dress shoes or tennis shoes, not clogs or flip flops. 😊 If you are bringing children with you, follow these same rules for them.
Now that you have your outfit figured out, let’s talk about what you can bring in with you. This one is easy; you can’t bring anything in with you. There are a few exceptions like formula, diapers, and wipes, if you have a baby, and your food vending card.
For your first prison visit, here are the only things you should bring into the prison with you:
- Paperwork – your driver’s license, birth certificates for your children, marriage license (if you have one)
- Money to buy the reusable debit card for the vending machine items in the visiting room. (The card costs between $3-5. You will need more money to put on the card to spend once inside.)
- Your car keys – For more traveling tips, check out my blog post “Traveling with kids”
- 2 Quarters in case you have to pay for a locker to leave your keys and paperwork in
If you have an infant, here are some additional items you need to bring with you:
- Diapers – enough to last the entire prison visit
- Wipes – put some in a clear plastic baggie because you can only bring enough for the visit
- Formula – again, only what you will need for the visit, and it must be in a clear plastic baby bottle
- A large, clear Ziploc bag to hold all of the baby items
The last two things for your prison visit are super important, too! Bring your best attitude and patience, and smell good. The guards are not always friendly or fast. If you are prepared for rudeness and to wait a long time, you will be happy if the guards are nice and quick. Smelling good is a must! The smell of your perfume, breath mint, or lotion will make your husband even happier to see you.
Make sure your children are clean and smelling fresh too. It may seem unnecessary, but with so little time together, it becomes really important to activate all of the senses in a positive way. Smelling good helps build stronger memories and an overall sense of well being. This is really important in the midst of incarceration.
After your first visit, you will know what the rules are at the prison you will be visiting, but these are always good guidelines to follow to make sure you get into the prison and enjoy your visits. For more helpful tips, visit the Bureau of Prisons website. If you want more info in prison visits, read this blog article I wrote.
I am rooting for you!
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