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Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting Ohio Inmates

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has acknowledged the importance of preserving an inmate's relationship with friends and family members through visitation.  Inmates who receive more visits have closer ties with their family and community and have a greater chance of never returning to the correctional system.  The challenge faced by prisons everywhere is in making the process of visitation understandable and accessible to everyone.  To make visiting easier, we have amassed the important information everyone needs to know when visiting an inmate in Ohio.

  • All prospective visitors must start by requesting the inmate add them to their visiting list.  You will then need to fill out an Ohio Inmate Visitors Application.  If you are visiting with a minor child you must also include an Ohio Inmate Authorization for Minor Child to Visit Form.
  • Once you have mailed back the application and any additional required documentation you will have to wait 4-8 weeks for the application to be processed.
  • The facility will inform the inmate of the status of your application, and leave it up to the inmate to inform you if you have been approved or denied.
  • All visitors must bring a valid government-issued identification, such as a valid photo driver's license, state ID, passport, or military ID.
  • Minors or anyone under the age of 16 must bring a birth certificate with them to visitation, and be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is also on the visiting list for the inmate.
  • All visitors are searched and are required to pass through a metal detector to enter into visitation.  Your car may also be searched once it is on the property of the institution.  The facility may utilize dogs to aid in a search.
  • Do not bring tobacco or tobacco related products such as a lighter or matches with you into visitation, leave these items in your car.
  • Cell phones, recording devices, music devices, cameras, and electronics of any kind are prohibited from entering into the facility.
  • In general, the only items you should bring into the facility are your identification, a single car key, and a small amount of money to purchase items from the vending machines.  Purses, wallets, handbags, backpacks etc. are not allowed to enter into the facility.
  • If you are traveling with an infant or small child you may bring an infant carrier, but it will be searched.  Additional items you can bring in a large clear Ziploc bag include 2-3 diapers, a small number of baby wipes, three plastic baby bottles, the factory sealed plastic baby foods, and a single pacifier.

When visiting an inmate in Ohio, some additional information you should know is:

  • Most Ohio correctional facilities offer video visitation.  Video visitation is offered through a third party company called JPAY that charges a fee for the 30-minute video visit.
  • Refrain from wearing excessive jewelry, hairpins, metal underwire bras, clothing with multiple zippers, and steel-toed boots/shoes as these will set off the metal detector and may require a more intrusive search.
  • Never enter correctional facility grounds or buildings with a weapon or ammunition.  Additionally do not have any narcotics, alcoholic or illegal items with you.
  • If the facility suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol they may deny your entrance to visitation.

Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visitors of Ohio Inmates

All prisons in Ohio follow a dress code.  The dress code is in place for the order, safety, and security of visitors, inmates and staff, and is strictly adhered to.  Failure to follow the dress code will result in your visit being denied.  We suggest you always bring a change of clothes with you and leave them in your car.  This enables you to quickly change if a staff member objects to an article of clothing you are wearing and prevents you from potentially missing out on a visit.

  • All visitors must wear appropriate undergarments, underwear, bra, slip etc.
  • Underwear should not be visible during visits.
  • No clothes should expose the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or sides.  Sleeveless clothing, including halter tops, tank tops, tube tops, 
  • Low-cut clothing that exposes the stomach, underwear, buttocks or chest is not allowed.
  • Dresses, shorts, skirts, culottes etc., must not have a hem or slit above the middle of the knee.
  • Wrap skirts, dresses, and break away pants are not allowed.
  • Clothing with holes, rips, or cutouts that expose skin is not allowed.
  • Tight/form-fitting clothing such as spandex, leggings, Lycra, including tight jeans, tight pants, leotards, unitards, or clothing that is see-through, sheer or netted is not allowed.
  • Excessive jewelry is not allowed and may make the metal detector go off and require a more intrusive search.
  • Clothing with gang symbols or that is associated as gang-wear is prohibited.
  • If your clothing contains offensive language or images you will not be allowed to visit.