Know proper procedures and permissions for visiting an inmate in federal correctional facilities like Lewisburg, state penitentiaries like San Quentin, or local facilities like Rikers Island.
- Step 1: Go to USA.gov for state corrections department websites. To visit state and local inmates, get prison contact info to obtain visiting hours and requirements.
- Step 2: Contact the prison staff to send you a visitor information form. Fill it out and send it back. Prison staff will do a background check for a visit approval.
- FACT: In 2007, California became the first state to allow overnight conjugal visits for same-sex partners of state prison inmates.
- TIP: Unacceptable visiting room dress includes halter tops, see-through garments, spandex, miniskirts, hats, or caps.
- Step 3: Get the prison handbook. Read the section on visiting procedures including dress code, visitor ID requirements, and authorized items for the visiting room.
- Step 4: Use the BOP's online Facility Locator to find a specific Federal Prison's general visiting information such as visiting hours for family and friends.
- Step 5: Get on an inmate's visitor list. The inmate will send you a visitor info form. Fill it out and send it to the prison staff for a background check and approval.
- TIP: Visitors with prior criminal records will need a written authorization for visits to an inmate.
- Step 6: Go to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website to locate where a federal inmate is being held. Search by the inmate's name or ID number.