Preparing for Visitation

Preparing for Visitation

CCA Entry Checkpoint Officer

At CCA, our dedicated team of corrections professionals goes to prison or jail everyday. Uniforms, metal detectors, security measures, policies and procedures, closed doors and locked gates – it’s all second nature to us. 

But if you’re not accustomed to correctional facility life, you may have some questions or concerns, maybe even nervousness, about what to expect if you are planning a visit.

Being well prepared for your visit to one of our correctional facilities can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that sometimes accompanies visitation.

From what to wear to what to leave behind, here are a few tips and instructions to help you prepare for your upcoming facility visit. 

Visitation List and Approval

During the inmate orientation process, inmates will mail a visitation application form to the friends and family members who want to visit. 

It is the inmate’s responsibility to mail the applications. Individuals who receive the application must complete the form and mail it back to the specific CCA facility to initiate the approval process. All facility visitors must be approved through a background check prior to visiting an inmate. 

Once the background checks are completed, the inmate is responsible for informing friends and family members that they are approved for visitation. Please ensure that, as a visitor, you have been approved before planning your visit. 

Some CCA facilities require that all visitations be scheduled in advance of the visitation appointment.  Or there may be special requirements if an individual is in restricted housing.  You may wish to contact the facility directly if you are unsure.

An inmate can change or update their list over time. If an inmate is transferred to another correctional facility, please check with the facility before visiting to ensure all records were transferred at the time of the move. 

Passing Security

Every visitor who enters our correctional facilities must pass through our security measures before proceeding to a visitation area.

Visitors will be screened through a metal detector, much like what you would experience in an airport. However, our metal detector settings are much more sensitive than typical metal detectors. When preparing for your visit, please be sure to consider any metal on your clothing, including underwear and shoes. 

Visitation Dress Code

Understandably, many of our visitors do not realize that what they are wearing can impact their ability to visit with their loved one. 

Every facility has a strict dress code for visitors, and each facility’s dress code may vary, sometimes depending on the specific requirements of our government partner. Please review the specific dress code requirements for the facility you are visiting prior to your visit. Please visit our Facility Locations section for specific facility information.

A few general guidelines that apply at every facility include:

  • Skirts and shorts must be knee-length or longer.
  • Only closed-toe shoes are permitted. No sandals or flip-flops.
  • No revealing or low cut shirts. No tank tops or halter tops.
  • No see-though or extremely tight clothing.
  • No strapless dresses. No swimsuits.
  • No gang or obscene messages or designs.
  • No hats or hoodies on shirts
  • No sunglasses or excessive jewelry.
  • Underwear must be worn at all times, but not visible.
  • Everyone must clear the metal detector.

Visiting from Out of State

If you must travel a great distance to visit your loved one, you want your limited visitation time to go smoothly. To help ensure you are prepared, we’ve assembled our most important advice for a successful visit. 

Inmate Visitation Checklist

Before arriving at a correctional facility, think through the following checklist to ensure that you are prepared for visitation. 

___ I am on my inmate’s approved visitation list.

___ I have returned my paperwork and passed the visitation background check. 

___ I have my driver’s license or government ID. 

___ I have planned my visit during the facility’s visitation hours.

___ I have packed facility dress code approved clothes and shoes. 

___ I will clear the metal detector. 

___ I have ensured that my car, purse and pockets are clear of any inappropriate items before entering the facility grounds. 

___ I have checked to see if there are special visitation requirements, such as a scheduled appointment.