Prisoner’s Eligibility to Visit

Factors Which May Restrict a Prisoner’s Eligibility to Visit

In addition to the types of visits available, there are other factors which may restrict a prisoner’s eligibility to visit. Some of these factors require the visitor to check with the prisoner about his/her particular circumstances, while other factors require the visitor to check with the prison. Such factors include:

  • The prisoner’s work or school hours: Generally a prisoner may not visit during the hours he/she is assigned to a job or to school. Under limited circumstances, a prisoner may obtain permission to visit during work or school hours, but such circumstances are generally limited to family visits, a rare visit (visitor has not visited in more than six months), an emergency visit (death or serious illness of family member), or excessive distance (visitor comes from more than 250 miles and has not visited in the last 30 days). The prisoner must obtain prior written approval to visit during work or school hours by seeking Excused Time Off (ETO) from his/her supervisor.
  • The prisoner’s criminal history: Some prisoners may have restrictions to visit with minors based on their convictions. If the prisoner you wish to visit has been convicted of a criminal offense involving a minor, you should check with him/her if you plan to bring children (even if the children are the prisoner’s children) to visit.
  • Medical quarantines: Sometimes part or all of a prison is quarantined to control the spread of a contagious disease. When that occurs, visiting is not allowed for any prisoners housed in areas under quarantine. The 800 Visitors’ Information number (800-374-8474) will advise a visitor whether there is a medical quarantine and which parts of the prison are affected.
  • Lockdowns or Modified Program: Prisons are often placed on “lockdowns” or “modified programs” in response to threats to the safety of staff and prisoners or the security of the institution. These “modified programs” may be restricted to specific groups of prisoners, areas of the institution, or in the case of a lockdown, are applied to all prisoners in all area of the institution. The 800 Visitors’ Information number, noted in the preceding, will provide information regarding lockdowns and modified programs and which prisoners are restricted from visiting as a result. Since both lockdowns and medical quarantines can occur with very limited notice, it is wise to check the Visitors’ Information number just before leaving for a visit.
  • Hospitalized Prisoners: When a prisoner is seriously ill or injured, he/she may be hospitalized, in either a prison hospital or a community hospital. Visits with hospitalized prisoners are only considered for prisoners having life threatening or critical injuries or illnesses. These special visits are restricted to immediate family members with current approval to visit at the institution. Requests to visit at a community hospital must be approved by the Warden and attending physician. Visitors should make requests to visit by contacting the Warden’s office.