How to Prepare to Visit an Inmate

Over 2 million people are currently in jail or prison in the US.

Because there are so many people serving time, there’s a chance you know someone who’s an inmate. You may even know someone in your own family who’s an inmate. 

If you visit an inmate it can be an emotional and/or stress-inducing experience. You can only hope it gets easier over time. 

If you’ve never visited an inmate but would like to in the near future, there are certain things you can do to prepare. Keep reading the guide below for some tips. 

Know the Rules

When visiting an inmate, it’s important to know the facility’s rules. If you don’t know where they’re located, research online records. Click here for an example of an inmate search. 

Once you know where they’re located, search for the facility’s website. There’s a good chance you’ll find a tab on the site dedicated to explaining the rules of an inmate visit. Read through them carefully and make any special notes. 

Take a close look at visiting hours, how to schedule a visitation, and what you’re allowed to bring into the facility. Many sites will also notify you of how you’re able to interact with the inmates. 

Emotionally Prepare

While we can help with the logistics, there’s no perfect guide on emotions when learning how to visit an inmate. 

Some people feel relieved to visit an inmate because they haven’t been able to make direct contact with the person. Others feel overwhelmed by sadness or grief. 

The truth of the matter is you won’t know how you’ll feel until you’re there. But you can take a moment to prepare now. Confront how you feel about them being in jail to reach a point of acceptance. 

If accepting their arrest has been extraordinarily difficult for you, seek mental health support through a therapist. 

Preparing on the Day of Your Visit

The day is finally here. The day-of preparation of visiting a prisoner is just as important as the early preparation. 

Pick out an appropriate and modest outfit when visiting a facility. Don’t wear anything provocative or too similar to military uniforms. 

You’ll also want to aim to arrive early at the facility. This is to ensure the process moves along quickly. Plus, it allows for the maximum visitation time. If you’ve never visited an inmate but would like to in the near future, there are certain things you can do to prepare. Keep reading the guide below for some tips.

Understanding How to Visit an Inmate

Do you know someone who has recently been placed into a jail or prison? Visiting them could be important for both of you, but it’s crucial to understand how to visit an inmate first. 

Plenty of logistical and emotional preparation goes into visiting an inmate. Both are vital parts of the process so don’t cut any corners. Lean on nearby support systems to help guide you through the experience. 

For more guides on law, travel, news, and sports make sure to check out the rest of our site. We have something for everyone. 


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