There is always the need to visit an incarcerated loved one. You can plan this visit for Christmas, Easter, New Year or the birthday of your loved one. You can also visit on any day during special events. But your visit must be well planned in advance.

Adequate preparations must be made well ahead of time so as to take care of unforeseen problems. Things can go wrong during a potential prison visit, so you need to ask the right questions before embarking on the journey of seeing a loved one in prison.

Prison Visit Collage-07-17-2016

3 Things to Know Before Visiting a Loved One in Prison

In case you are unsure of any visit details, it is best to ask your incarcerated loved one or prison officials. Rules and regulations differ from prison to prison. But generally, here are the main things to bear in mind while planning for a prison visit:

1. Have a first-hand knowledge of the facility rules and regulations

Prison Visit

Many visitors are turned away from prison facilities because they flouted the visiting rules and regulations. You don’t want to travel long distances to see an incarcerated loved one only to be turned away at the door.

So ask as many questions as possible while preparing before you set out. Here are tips on some of the things to know about prison visiting rules:

  • What can visitors wear in terms of clothing and shoes? Several prison facilities frown at hoods and revealing clothes.
  • Are visitors allowed to give gifts to prisoners? You must be certain to know the answer to this because some facilities do not allow it. Some do not even allow children to give drawings to incarcerated parents or adults to give cash gifts to inmates.
  • How many visitors are allowed to go in at a time? Some facilities allow only two at a time. So plan to divide the time among yourselves if you have more than two visitors. You must also plan for the children in the waiting area too.
  • What are those that could be on a visiting list? It is best to ensure that kids are allowed in before setting off with kids in tow.

2. Let your kids know how to react to security

Let your children be aware that there will be intimidating security presence at the facility. Prepare their minds to this fact if they are visiting prison for the first time.

You must also tell them how to react to security and how to respond to questions or other scrutiny. Let them be prepared to be patted by security and to face a crowded people among other prison visitation issues.

Prison Visit

Other issues to prepare your wards for are:

  • Chances of touching an incarcerated loved one
  • Interacting with an inmate – even behind separating glasses
  • What to bring along such as toys and foods

3. Other pertinent issues to bear in mind before your prison visit

Other things you may bear in mind as you plan for your prison visit are:

  • How to spend your time apart from chatting and talking
  • Ways to maximize your time during the visit
  • How to say goodbye when it is time without emotions

Find Rides to Prisons

Charles Omedo

Charles Omedo has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication. He worked as a newspaper/magazine reporter and editor for many years. Now, he writes daily news articles for private clients. Charles has written for US/UK/Canadian/Indian clients on various niches. He currently writes for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network nonprofit blog.