A Superintendent may deny, limit, suspend, or revoke the visitation privileges of any inmate or visitor if they have reasonable cause to believe that such action is necessary to maintain the safety, security, and good order of the facility.
Visitors are required to furnish proof of identification, which includes the following: driver’s license/government issued ID card, passports, or a similar document that contains the visitor’s signature and/or picture. Make sure that the proof of identification is valid and has not expired. For minor children, but not for adults, birth or baptismal certificates may be used for identification purposes.
2. Visitors Under 18 Years of Age:
All minors must be escorted by an adult who is approved to visit, or an adult in an official capacity with proper identification and the approval of the Superintendent or hislher designee. The adult escort will be responsible for the behavior and conduct of the minor while on facility property, as well as identification of the minor
Children of inmates will be allowed to visit without written permission. The inmate’s name should appear on the child’s birth certificate as verification of relationship. No visit will be permitted ifa court order prohibiting such visit is on file with the facility.
Children of inmates who are 16 years of age and older will be admitted without adult escort.
Unmarried minors under 18 years ofage must have written permission from their parent or guardian to visit an inmate, ifthey are not accompanied by their parent or guardian. Written permission may be mailed to the facility in advance or presented by the accompanying adult at the time ofthe visit. Permission should also be notarized.
Married persons under 18 years of age who are related to an inmate do not need the permission of a parent, guardian, or an adult escort in order to visit an inmate. However, proof of age and marriage will be required.
3. Small Children:
If you arrive with a small child, you will be allowed to take a diaper bag, three (3) diapers, and plastic baby bottles into the visiting room. (Milk is not always available at the facility. It is a good idea to bring your own). All articles must be searched beforehand. A suitable area within the perimeter ofthe visiting room is provided for the changing of diapers.
The introduction of contraband to the facility is ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED. Contraband is defined as:
Anything in possession that would constitute an offense under the law applicable to the public. Anything which could be used to cause death or serious physical injury, including, but not limited to, a hand gun, shoulder gun, cartridge, knife, explosive, or dangerous drug (including marijuana).
Anything that is introduced into a correctional facility with the intent to transfer to an inmate without the permission ofthe Superintendent or designee.
Anything that is not specifically authorized to be possessed by an inmate in a state correctional facility according to the rules ofthe Department or local rules of the facility. (Alcohol and money are among the items inmates are not permitted to possess).
If you are caught with weapons, drugs, passing drugs, or if there is reasonable suspicion that you are involved with drugs, your visits can be suspended forever, and criminal charges can be filed against you. If this happens, your loved one may have outside criminal charges pressed against them which could lead to a new sentence and more prison time. In a correctional facility, promoting prison contraband is a felony offense. Such a situation could result in your being arrested in a town far from home, your children (if they are with you) being taken by Child Protective Services, prison time, and other serious disruptions to your life.
Normal Search Procedures: Except at correctional camps, every person entering a facility (except those with cardiac pacemakers) shall pass through a metal detector and all items (handbags, briefcases, etc.) shall be searched. A hand frisker may be used if there is difficulty clearing a visitor using the walk-through metal detector.
Some metal detectors go off if you have steel located in your body for medical purposes. If you have steel plates in your body, it is best to come with a medical letter of notification in order to verify your word.
You may be subject to an Ion Scan, a non-invasive procedure which is used to detect illegal substances.
If the hand scanner is used and it fails to locate the problem, or if the Correction Officer feels there is probable cause for further processing, strip search procedures may be necessary, even if you offer to voluntarily remove items of clothing other than your coat, hat, or shoes.
Items not permitted in the facility shall be stored in available lockers until you leave the facility. If, however, there is reasonable cause to believe that possession of an article would constitute an offense under any law, the contraband will not be returned to you.
Instead, the appropriate law enforcement agency will be notified. Please note that storage lockers can also be searched by correctional staff.
Other items of contraband that would not normally be deemed illegal (i.e. cigarettes, gum, clothing) would not be considered unlawfully introduced ifthe contraband is voluntarily surrendered to an employee in the visitor reception area of the facility.
When undeclared contraband is found, your intent shall be controlling. At times, innocent oversights will occur (i.e., medication). Staffwill use discretion in judging whether it was an intentional attempt to introduce contraband into the facility. Criteria to be considered include your past history, your demeanor, whether it appears that the contraband was for your personal use and was inadvertently left in a pocket or handbag, or whether an effort was made to conceal the contraband where it would not readily be found.
Strip Searches: If the correctional facility has reason to believe that you are carrying contraband on your person, you may be told that in order to have a visit, you may be subjected to a strip-search. A Superintendent or his/her designee has the authority to determine if a strip search is warranted, based on reasonable cause to believe that contraband is concealed upon your person.
If you refuse to submit to a strip search, the visit may be denied by a Superintendent or his/her designee. As an alternative, a non-contact visit may be allowed at the discretion of a Superintendent, if sufficient staff and a non-contact visiting area is available.
Please be aware that:
Guilt is not to be assumed if you refuse to submit to a strip search.
Future visits may not be denied solely on the basis of refusing to submit to a
Your past refusal to submit to a strip search may not be used as a reason for future
If you submit to a strip search, a security supervisor must obtain your written consent.
Consent to Search.
In the case of a minor child, the consent must be given by a parent, guardian, or a person in an official capacity regarding the minor.
Strip searches shall be conducted in locations heated to a level ofhuman comfort
for disrobed persons.
Strip searches shall be conducted by an officer ofthe same sex as you.
In unusual circumstances, you may be told that your child has to be strip-searched. In this case, the parent, guardian, or person in an official capacity who has escorted the minor to the facility shall be requested to be present, and, at the discretion of the officer, may participate in the strip search. If at any time during the procedure the minor objects to the strip search, the procedure shall be terminated
It may take time for the person to come to where you are to do the search. If you pass the search, you will be allowed to visit. Ifyou do not pass the search, your visit will be denied, future visits can be denied, and the State Police may be called to arrest you if illegal contraband is found. There may be other negative consequences.
6. Cellular phones:
pagers, personal digital assistants, cameras, recording devices, two way radios, laptop computers, or other similar electronic devices are prohibited from entering correctional facilities.
Due to the fact that smoking is not allowed inside our correctional facilities, tobacco products (including matches) for personal use are not allowed inside a facility.
8. Prescribed Routine Medications:
All medications must be declared and given to the processing officer. They shall be identified and stored in a secure area. Ifthe visitor needs the medication during the visiting period, it may be obtained as directed by security staff.
9. Clothing / Hair / Jewelry:
Make sure you understand the dress code for visitors. It helps to take a change ofclothes if you are not sure. Tight fitting and provocative attire is NOT acceptable. Short skirts, low tops, backless blouses or dresses, see-through clothing, bare midriffs, plunging necklines, short-shorts or athletic shorts, bare feet, bathing suits, etc. are NOT acceptable and may result in your visit being denied. Ifin doubt, you should not wear a questionable item of clothing. Under no circumstances will a visitor be allowed into the facility dressed inappropriately.
Please be advised, if your bra makes the metal detector go off, you will have to take it offand/or be searched by an officer. (See policy regarding searches).
If you wear many hair pins and the metal detector goes offbecause ofthem, you will be told that you have to take them out of your hair in order to visit. It is easier to do your hair another way.
Be aware that some head wraps may have to come off in order for you to pass through the metal detector successfully.
Many kinds of jewelry make the detector go off. It is easier to remove anything questionable and carry it with you in the processing area. Put it back on later.
Zippers, metal studs, and decorations can make the detector go off. If this happens, you may be asked to go into the bathroom, take offthe clothing, put on an alternative article ofclothing provided by the Department and kept there for those purposes, and go through the detector again until you make it through successfully. It is best to wear simple: clothing so that you can become accustomed to the procedures at the correctional facility.
Visitors who appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs will not be admitted inside a correctional facility.
Funds for deposit to an inmate’s account may be left before a visit, or they may be sent through the mail by check or money order. Money left at the visiting desk is limited to $50.00 per inmate per day. Checks or money orders must be made payable to the name under which the inmate is committed. It is also recommended that the inmate’s department identification number be included on the check / money order. It is best to keep your receipts for your records.
Cross visiting is the participation oftwo inmates in a visit with one or more visitors. Cross visiting is permitted with the approval of a Superintendent, and, in the cases of immediate family members, is to be encouraged. Inmates wishing to cross visit must submit requests to their respective Correction Counselors at least one month prior to the proposed visit.
Only persons who are on both inmates’ visiting records may participate in cross visits.
Cross visiting may be limited when necessary in order to accommodate all visitors.
When a cross visit is taking place the two imnates may participate in a common photograph.
13. Objectionable Behavior.
Objectionable behavior may result in termination of a visit. Such behavior may include, but is not limited to: loud, abusive, or boisterous actions, disruptive or argumentative behavior, unacceptable physical contact or conduct. While visiting, use good judgment and discretion in dress and behavior so as not to offend others in the visiting room. You may be tempted to try to have more physical contact than what is allowed. This is upsetting to other visitors who have children with them, and can cause your relative or friend to be issued a misbehavior report, as well as your visiting privileges suspended.
14. Families with Special Needs:
Accommodations: Procedures for acquiring reasonable accommodations are
available at each general confinement facility.
Wheelchairs: For those visitors who require the use of a wheelchair, facilities
have made provisions which allow reasonable accessibility.
15. Special Events Visits:
Each general confinement facility schedules “Special Events Programs” designed to celebrate cultural, religious, and ethnic affiliations. They also recognize individual and group achievements, and strengthen community and family ties. Under most circumstances, an inmate’s guest will only be allowed to participate if he or she has visited the inmate at least twice during the current incarceration, An exception may be made for an inmate’s legal child, under 18 yeats of age, who has not previously visited, provided that the child is accompanied by an adult visitor who has met the previous visiting requirement.
16. Other Visits:
Legal Visits: For inmates and their legal representatives.
Outside Hospital Visits: For inmates in outside community hospitals.
Facility Hospital Visits: For inmates in facility hospitals.
Another hurdle faced when conducting a background check is that in certain states, you need the person’s date of birth and social security number before you are permitted to perform a search. Whereas for employers, due to red tape and legislative restriction, an employer cannot check a person’s criminal records unless permission is obtained from the potential employee.
How do you avoid the red tape or obstacles and check on someone’s background. The solution is by using an online background check. There are a few companies that provide nationwide public records databases online in which you can conduct online criminal records check. Obviously you need some basic information of the person you’re checking on. The accuracy and reliability of criminal records extracted from these databases depend on the basic information you input into the databases. If the name of the person you check reveals that he or she had a criminal record, do not jump to conclusion and make sure you double check the information to make sure that it is the right person.
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