Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Visiting Program Guidelines

Effective October 1, 2012

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Making a better visiting
experience for you and your
family.

Introduction
Visitation is a privilege which greatly enhances an offender’s ability to be successful upon release from custody when the privilege is used to maintain a positive relationship.

Identification
Effective October 1, 2012, all adult visitors will be required to present photo identification when being processed to visit an offender in DOCCS. Your photograph may also be taken for a visitor identification system pilot project.
Acceptable forms of photo identification must be valid, and current (not expired) and may include:

To ensure faster processing, it is recommended that you use the same identification at every visit, regardless of who you are visiting and where.

Lawyers and other persons entering for official visits can use:

Visitor Processing/Searches
Visitor processing has not changed, but we have clarified our rules.

Substance Detection/Ion Scan
Visitors may be subject to random ion scanning or other non-intrusive test for detection of drugs and explosives.

Metal Detector
You will have to pass through a metal detector.

Limited Visual/Personal Item
If a metal detector alerts and the visitor cannot reveal or remove the detected object due to its personal nature, staff may pursue several search options.

Limited Visual Search
A limited visual search is a search done in a private area where an officer or staff member of the same sex will visually inspect the area in question.

Personal Item Search
A search of personal items may be conducted as an alternative to a limited visual search or when a staff member of the same sex is not available.

Strip Searches
If a visitor to a correctional facility has complied with all of the search processes and a supervisor determines that further processing is warranted, the superintendent or the officer of the day may authorize a consensual strip search after reviewing the matter.

Religious Apparel
A visitor is not routinely required to remove religious headwear during search procedures. However, if staff determines, following the use of the hand scanner, that removal of the headwear or any other item of religious apparel is necessary, the item shall be removed in a private area in the presence of a security or civilian staff member of the same sex. If there is no staff member of the same sex on duty, and the visitor still refuses or cannot remove the item due to its religious significance in the visitor processing area, the visit will be denied.

Contraband
Do not bring weapons, drugs, alcohol, cell phones, memory cards and other prohibited items into the correctional facility. If you do, you may lose your visiting privileges. You may also be arrested and criminally prosecuted.

Clothing
Visitors should wear clothing that enhances a family atmosphere. Inappropriate clothing will result in you being denied entry into the facility.

Please wear:

Prohibited Dress

NOTE: Clothing containing metal (e.g. decorative buckles, buttons or studs) or wire, including, but not limited to underwire bras, may cause the metal detector to alert and you may have to go through a strip search or limited visual search before your visit will be permitted.

Starting October 1, 2012, new rules for visitor and offender misconduct go into effect.

Visitor Suspensions
Visitor sanctions apply at all DOCCS correctional facilities and for all incarcerated offenders visited. If a visit is terminated, visiting privileges may be suspended for up to one week until the superintendent makes a decision reinstating, limiting, suspending, or indefinitely suspending the visitor’s visiting privileges.

Many categories of serious visitor misconduct now include as the maximum penalty imposition of an "Indefinite Suspension" of visiting privileges. An indefinite suspension of visiting privileges has no predetermined end date, but instead the visitor may request that the superintendent of the facility housing the offender to be visited review the matter on an annual basis for possible restoration of visiting privileges.

Offender Suspensions
An offender found guilty of misconduct before, during or after the visitation process, may have his or her visiting privileges suspended. Certain types of misconduct, such as smuggling contraband, or sexual misconduct when other visitors are in the area, can result in a loss of visits with all visitors.

An offender found guilty of drug related charges under any circumstances, can lose visiting privileges with all visitors for 6 months for a first offense or 1 year for a second or subsequent offense.

For further information regarding the visiting experience, review our Handbook for Families and Friends on our website.