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As of March 18, 2020, registration and visitation rules have changed to protect inmates at Dane County Jail System - William H Ferris Center and their loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, there are no in-person visits for family and friends due to the COVID-19 situation. Video visitation is available; details can be found below or call 608-284-6100.
All visits are non-contact and conducted through a glass partition. This facility may also have a video visitation option, please call 608-284-6100 for more information and updates to the current rules and regulations.
Inmates are allowed 2 visitors per day
Dane County Jail-Public Visitation Guidelines & Schedule - Non-Contact visitation at the Dane County Jail, City-County Building, is scheduled by the inmate. All Public Safety Building and Ferris Center visitation is scheduled by the visitor via the IC Solutions website. All inmates are allowed two (2) forty-five minute visitation slots per week. Inmates assigned to the Public Safety Building that are not sentenced with Huber are allowed one (1) forty-five-minute non-contact visit per week and one (1) forty-five-minute video visit per week. Only scheduled visits will be honored. No walk-up visits are permitted. All visits in the Public Safety Building and Ferris Center require 24 hours advance sign up. It is the responsibility of inmates housed in the City-County Building to notify their family and friends of the dates and times of their visit.
Visitors must be on time for their scheduled visits. Anyone arriving after their scheduled start time, regardless of the reason, will be denied.
Visitation Rules - All non-attorney visits are recorded and subject to electronic monitoring. Your participation in jail visitation constitutes consent to this recording, monitoring, and review. Visits from properly registered attorneys will not be recorded or monitored.
The Sheriff’s Office has the authority to terminate visits, to deny visitation privileges, and to deny visitors at any time. For safety and security reasons the following list documents some of the rules that apply to the visitation areas. Violation of any of these rules may result in a denial of the visit, as well as denial of future visitation privileges:
APPAREL: Appropriate clothing and footwear is required. Shoes will remain on at all times.
The following examples are NOT ALLOWED to be worn in the visitation area:
Professional Visitation Guidelines & Hours:
Professional visitation is conducted via video, non-contact, contact, and telephone.
Professional visitors include, but are not limited to: attorneys, law enforcement, probation & parole agents, licensed private investigators, process servers, clergy, and social workers. Picture ID and professional credentials are required. Additional documentation may be requested.
Recommended Professional Visitation Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Due to mandatory operational duties, please expect delays during the following times:
Daily: 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. / 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. / 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. / 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Conference Room Reservations:
Appointments by Professional Visitors may be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments will not be accepted on county-identified holidays and furlough days. Appointments must be made at least three (3) business days prior to the requested visitation date. The conference room may be utilized Monday through Friday: 8 am-11 am, and 1 pm-4:30 pm.
All Visitors are subject to search once inside the facility.
The public may visit no more than one time per week, Monday through Saturday at this Madison WI location. Visitors must sign inat least 15 minutesprior to their scheduled visits. If you schedule a visit and dont show up or show up late, you will not be allowed to visit the rest of that week, including Saturday. If a visit on Saturday is scheduled, and the visitor does not show up or shows up late, they will not be allowed to visit until the following Saturday. Repeated late arrival or no-show violations may result in longer suspension of visiting privileges. Inmates are allowed no more than one (1) visit per day. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian, unless they are visiting a parent. Unaccompanied minors (under age 18) visiting a parent must present a copy of their birth certificate. Children must remain with the parent at all times during the visit. All visitors must have acceptable identification. This includes a drivers license with picture identification, military ID, or other verifiable picture ID. Three (3) pieces of non-picture ID may substitute for picture ID.
No mail or messages for inmates will be accepted. Mail must go through the U.S. Mail. Visitors may only visit the inmate they have signed up to visit. Any visitor who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to visit. Inappropriate behavior, including the use of profanity will not be permitted. No weapons will be permitted. All other items listed in the jail lobby are prohibited. There is a maximum of four (4) visitors per booth, including children, and the door must remain closed.
All visitors must wear appropriate clothing, including shoes and shirts. Restrictions on attire or appearance include: No miniskirts or similar attire; no low-cut or revealing necklines; no attire with obscene or offensive language; and no persons with a bare midriff will be permitted to visit. Visitors cannot bring items into the visiting area including weapons of any kind, purses, handbags, backpacks, diaper bags, food, drink, gum, baby bottles, pictures, books, toys, writing utensils, strollers or carriers, cell phones, cameras, or any other electronic devices.
Violation of the above restrictions may cause the visit to be cancelled or terminated, and visiting privileges may be suspended by the Dane Sheriffs Department. The on-duty supervisor may cancel visits without notice due to circumstances within the jail.
County - Rules by type
Inmates are informed of changes that may occur in visiting regulations.
It is the responsibility of each inmate to inform his/her visitor(s) of these changes.
Any violation of visiting regulations may result in the suspension of visiting privileges.
Visiting rules may vary slightly from Jail to Jail, but the rules are posted at each Jail. Visitors should make sure to educate themselves about a specific Jail’s local visiting rules/policies.
Inmates in administrative custody or disciplinary custody have different visiting rules. Again, they are aware of the rules and should relay them to their visitors.
Vehicles must be locked while on Jail property. Windows must be rolled up/closed, and all equipment must be secured in or on your vehicle (such as ladders, tool boxes).
Never bring any gifts or money for the inmate.
Cell phones and/or pagers are not permitted inside facilities. They must be properly secured in your locked vehicle prior to entering the facility.
Any kind of device, whether worn or hand held, that has the capability of audio and/or video/photography recording and/or cell phone capabilities is NOT permitted. This could include, but is not limited to, eye glasses, tie tacks, lapel pins, wrist watches, pens, etc.
No purses, bags, diaper bags, etc., are permitted.
Due to space restrictions, visits may be terminated on a first in, first out basis, to make room for visitors that may be waiting.
Visiting room officers may assign specific seating locations for visitors and inmates, especially for those who are suspected of or have displayed problems with obeying procedures.
Unused visits per week may not be carried over into the following week. It’s a “use them or lose them” rule.
At most facilities, lockers are available for use (some may require a deposit ranging from .25 to $10). Items not permitted in the visiting room should either be left in your vehicle or placed in the locker. All vehicles and lockers are subject to search.
It is possible that an inmate may not wish to visit even though the visitor is at the Jail. The COUNTY cannot force an inmate to conduct a visit if he/she does not wish to do so.
To ensure visitors get at least one hour with their inmate, visitors should arrive as early in the day as possible. In order to ensure a visit, visitors MUST arrive at least one hour prior to visiting room closure time.
Visitors should realize that some inmates have to walk across the Jail compound to the visiting room area and then be processed for the visit – all which takes a significant amount of time. So arriving early ensures the best visiting experience.
It is suggested that visitors try to visit on weekdays rather than weekends, because weekends tend to be very busy.
Money never may be given to an inmate. Inmates shall never use/operate a vending machine.
Visitors may purchase vending machine items for the inmate to consume during the visit. Profits from the visiting room vending machines benefit each facility’s Inmate General Welfare Fund.
Although vending machines may be available, visitors should not depend upon them being filled or in working order.
Visitors requiring medication during the visit (such as inhalers or insulin injections) must advise the visiting room officer and the lobby officer upon arrival at the Jail and follow appropriate procedures. Visitors are responsible for providing their own medication(s).
Visitors with any kind of orthopedic hardware need to present a card, from the attending physician, documenting the hardware, in order to be granted a contact visit.
Visitors are responsible for supervision of and for keeping control of their minor visitors.
For Jails that allow money in visiting rooms, nothing larger than coins, $1 bills and $5 bills are permitted, with a total limit of $20 to $50. All cash must be contained in a clear plastic bag or small clear change purse. Staff will not make change.
There is no waiting area, so do not bring someone who cannot visit if they are intending to wait for you at the facility. Anyone who is not visiting shall be required to exit the facility grounds.
Who CANNOT visit:
-former inmate of any correctional system
-anyone who is currently under probation or parole supervision
-any current inmate in pre-release or SIP status
-any current or former COUNTY employee
-any current, active volunteer of the COUNTY
-any current or former contract employee
-any victim of the inmate
-any visitor who has had his/her visiting privileges suspended
-any visitor that has an active PFA against them
For an inmate to be visited by anyone who is not permitted, the inmate must initiate the request to have a prohibited visitor added to his/her visiting list, and a recommendation must come from the inmate’s unit team. The facility manager or designee may permit such a visitor depending upon the approved COUNTY process.
Individuals whose visiting privileges have been suspended may write to the appropriate facility manager seeking reinstatement of their visiting privileges. Reinstatement is not guaranteed.
Upon Arrival at the Jail:
Illegal drugs and/or paraphernalia, alcohol, weapons, cameras and tape/video/digital recorders are not permitted on Jail grounds at any time.
Cell phones and/or pagers are not permitted inside facilities. They must be properly secured in your vehicle prior to entering the facility.
All visitor vehicles are subject to search.
Any driver/owner and passengers in the vehicle will not be permitted to visit if the driver/owner refuses a vehicle search and is subjected to visiting suspension.
You must lock your vehicle. Windows must be rolled up/closed, and all equipment must be secured in or on your vehicle (such as ladders, tool boxes).
Children and/or animals may not be left unattended in the vehicle.
Any alcohol, drugs and/or weapons found in the vehicle or on your person can result in the visit being denied and/or the State Police being called to the Jail.
At most Jails, if you drive a personal vehicle to the Jail, you must register the vehicle information with the visiting room officer: year, make, model and license plate number.
Because Jails do have inmates perform janitorial services or duties outside of the Jail perimeter, you are not permitted to have contact or conversations with them as you are reporting to the visiting room area. Doing so could jeopardize your visiting privileges.
While in the visiting room, you may not converse with other inmates or their guests.
Being Processed for the Visit:
All visitors, regardless of age, must have proper forms of identification in order to visit.
Adults must have one of the following proper forms of identification:
One of these forms of ID:
-Driver’s license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, sex, height, eye color, and address.
-ID card issued by a federal, state, or local government agencies or entities provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, sex, height, eye color, and address.
-School ID, with photograph.
-Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (INS Form N-560 or N-561).
-Certificate of Naturalization (INS Form N-550 or N-570).
-Alien Registration Receipt Card with photograph (INS Form I-151 or I-551).
-Temporary Resident Card (INS Form I-688).
-Any other form of identification that contains a photograph.
Two of these forms of ID, one of which must contain a physical description of the person:
-Voter’s registration card.
-U.S. Military card or draft record.
-U.S. social security card issued by the Social Security Administration.
-Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350).
-Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, , municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United State bearing an official seal.
-U.S. Citizen ID Card (INS Form I-197).
-ID Card for use of Resident Citizen in the United States (INS Form I-179).
-School record or report card.
-Clinic, doctor, immunization, or hospital record.
-Day-care or nursery school report.
-Learner’s Permit or Temporary Driver’s License.
-Native American Tribal document.
NOTE: Any forms of identification presented that have passed the expiration date indicated on that document will not be accepted. Photo copies of any ID will NOT be accepted.
NOTE: One photo I.D. or two non-photo I.D.’s required for all visitors, including children and infants.
A visitor who cannot produce acceptable identification will NOT be permitted to visit unless approved by the facility manager/designee.
A visitor who falsifies identifying information will be suspended/barred from the facility for a period of time determined by the facility manager/designee.
Anyone appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance will not be permitted into the Jail.
You must be on the inmate’s visitor’s list. We cannot tell you if you are on the list. It is up to the inmate to inform his/her visitor(s). If you are not on the visitor’s list, you will not be permitted to visit.
You must be 18 or older to visit, unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian who also is on the inmate’s visitor’s list or unless you are the legal spouse of the inmate.
You only may be on one inmate’s visitor’s list at a time.
Every visitor, regardless of their age, is subject to search.
If a visitor refuses to be searched before entering the Jail, visiting privileges may be denied. If a visitor refuses to be searched while in the Jail or upon leaving the Jail, they may be detained until the appropriate law enforcement arrives.
Every visitor must successfully pass through a metal detector in order to be permitted into the visiting room.
Women should wear bras; however, they should NOT have underwire which will not successfully pass through a metal detector.
Facilities may use dogs to conduct passive drug screenings or special devices to detect illegal drugs. Failure to pass these screenings could result in your visit being denied.
At most facilities, but not all, lockers are available to store your personal items that are not permitted in the visiting room. At some facilities a refundable deposit may be required to use the lockers. Facilities that do not offer lockers will require items to be locked in your vehicle.
Visits cannot be split over several days – for instance, a visitor cannot come on Monday for one half-hour and then return on Tuesday for another one half-hour. Similarly, if an inmate or visitor terminates a visit for lunch, the visit may not be continued after lunch.
You will be required to sign in upon arrival and to sign out prior to leaving.
All minors under 18 years of age must have the appropriate visitors form signed by both the parent or legal guardian of the child and the inmate’s counselor or unit manager before the minor will be placed on the inmate’s list. Incarcerated parents are NOT permitted to sign these forms.
Children ages five and younger may be held by the inmate on his/her lap.
Please feed your baby/babies before visiting.
Only if you have a baby in your visiting party may you take into the visiting room the following items:
-up to three unopened commercially prepared and vacuum-sealed containers of baby food per infant. All containers will be opened by the inspecting officers.
-up to three clear plastic bottles of pre-mixed formula/white milk per infant.
-up to three diapers per infant. Diapers must be loose so they can be inspected.
-up to three pull-ups or training pants per infant.
-a reasonable number of wipes
NOTE: Some Jails allow one blanket, one change of clothing, one pacifier or one teething ring, one bib, one empty Sippy cup and one baby spoon. Check with the appropriate Jail for their local policy.
All of these items must be placed in a clear plastic bag, which is provided in the visitor reception area. No other carrying container of any kind will be allowed.
NOTE: Some Jails do not allow baby wipes to be brought in because they already are available inside the visiting room. Check with the appropriate Jail for their local policy.
Length of Visits:
Visits can be terminated due to violation of the visiting room rules, COUNTY policies, etc.
Any visitor’s privileges may be limited, suspended or restricted (such as non-contact visits only or a restriction on visiting at more than one facility) if information become available suggesting that allowing the individual to visit poses a threat to the safety and security of any Jail.
Visits shall be no less than one hour in duration and shall occur during regularly scheduled visiting hours. Longer periods may be allowed depending upon the inmate’s custody level and available visiting room space.
In the event the visiting room is at full capacity, and more visits are to be conducted, visits will be terminated on a first-come, first-out basis provided the minimum visiting time of one hour has elapsed.
Number of Visitors:
The number of visitors any inmate may have at any one time may be limited depending upon available visiting room space. Each facility has designated the maximum number of visitors permitted per inmate, per visit and the maximum capacity of people, inmates and visitors permitted in the visiting area.
Items NOT permitted in the visiting room:
At no time shall visitors try to give inmates gifts or items (other than vending machine items).
At no time shall visitors try to give inmates money. Money only may be added to an inmate’s account commissary/trust account.
Coats, jackets or other outer garments (excluding suit coats, sports jackets/blazers and or cardigan type sweaters).
-Portable wireless devices
-Any kind of food and/or drink brought in from the outside
-No clothing or papers for the inmate
-Any kind of device, whether worn or hand held, that has the capability of audio and/or video/photography recording and/or cell phone capabilities is NOT permitted. This could include, but not be limited to, eye glasses, tie tacks, lapel pins, wrist watches, pens, etc.
NOTE: Visitors requiring medication during the visit (such as inhalers or insulin injections) must advise the visiting room officer upon arrival at the Jail and follow appropriate procedures. Visitors are responsible for providing their own medication(s).
Persons caught introducing contraband into the visiting room will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and will be permanently banned from visiting ALL Jails.
NOTE: The COUNTY reserves the right to add to this listing. Always check with the visiting room officer if there are questions.
Dress Code – What NOT to Wear:
Visitors are expected to dress appropriately and avoid clothing styles that are revealing or provocative.
Women should wear bras; however, they should NOT have underwire which will not successfully pass through a metal detector.
-No coats, jackets or other outer garments (excluding suit coats, sports jackets/blazers and or cardigan type sweaters)
-No see-through clothing
-No clothing that exposes private body parts
-No shorts or miniskirts shorter than 4 inches above the middle of the kneecap
-No sleeveless shirts or tank tops
-No spaghetti strings or shirts that expose the shoulder or midriff
-No halter tops
-No spandex or leggings
-No pajamas worn as outer garments
-No hoods of any kind
-No bobby pins, safety pins, decorative pins, hair accessories and/or jewelry items that do not successfully clear the metal detector
-No bathing suits
-No clothing that references obscene language, drugs, sex of violence
-No bare feet
-No boxer shorts
-No clothing with rips, tears or revealing holes that are in areas of the body that may reveal breasts, nipples, buttocks, genital area.
-No pajamas or lingerie
-No book bags or back packs
NOTE: The COUNTY reserves the right to add to this listing. Always check with the visiting room officer if there are questions.
Face veils or obstructive clothing:
Face veils or other articles of clothing that obstruct the view of an individual’s face required by a female visitor’s religious beliefs are permitted to be worn inside the facility. To ensure for positive identification of the visitor, the following procedures will be followed for processing a visitor wearing a face veil or other article of clothing that obstructs the view of an individual’s face when entering/exiting a facility:
1. In all instances a female staff member will be used to identify the visitor. When possible, a female corrections officer will be used. When a female corrections officer is not available, female staff from other departments (e.g., Medical, Business Office, Records, Food Services, etc.) will be used to process a female visitor and confirm his/her identity when leaving.
2. The removing or removal of the face veil or other article of clothing will be done in a location that affords the visitor privacy so as to not be seen by male individuals.
3. All face veils or other articles of clothing that obstruct the view of an individual’s face must be moved or removed to allow the staff member an unobstructed view of the visitor’s face. After the staff member has viewed the visitor’s face the visitor will be instructed to place the face veil or other article of clothing back to its original position.
4. Before leaving the facility, the face veil must again be opened to confirm the identity of the visitor.
Conduct in the visiting room:
Inmates and/or visitors who become disruptive, use loud, abusive or obscene language or who engage in sexual behavior will have their visit terminated and may be placed on visiting privilege restriction.
Only upon meeting and departing, the visitor and the inmate may exchange a brief kiss and embrace.
Individuals with children are responsible for keeping control of their children.
Sitting or lying on the grass in an outdoor visiting area is prohibited.
Visitors and inmates are not permitted to sit on tables or to straddle seating or benches.
There will be no sitting on laps, except for small children (see the section on minor visitors for details about inmates holding children on their laps).
There shall be NO excessive kissing, petting, snuggling and/or grooming.
All Jails have vending machines in the visiting rooms.
Some Jails allow coins and cash, while others make you purchase tokens that can be used in the machines. See the attached chart to see what is permitted.
Where coins and cash are permitted, nothing larger than coins, $1 bills and $5 bills are permitted, with a limit of $50 total. All cash must be contained in a clear plastic bag or small clear change purse. Staff will not make change.
Only visitors may use/operate vending machines.
All food/drink items purchased from the vending machines must be consumed and disposed of in the visiting room.
As is mostly the case at Jails that have photo tickets and food vending cards -- Photo tickets and food vending cards MUST be purchased in the lobby area BEFORE the visit. Unused photo tickets and any balance remaining on the food vending card may be used during future visits.
Please note that Jail vending cards are only good for use at that specific Jail. If your inmate moves to another Jail, you should work with the sending Jail to obtain information about how you can get a refund of any remaining funds on that card. Then, at the new Jail, you will have to begin using the vending card that is specific to that Jail, if used.
Pictures Taken During Visits:
Many facilities allow visitors to purchase tokens or tickets to get pictures taken during visits.
Please check with the appropriate facility to see what their local policy is with respect to purchasing photos while in the visiting room.
Special pre-arranged visits for long-distance travelers:
Special visits can be pre-arranged for persons who are not on an approved visitor’s list or who have traveled a substantial distance and for a family visit for a seriously ill or injured inmate. Special visits must be arranged by the inmate and approved by the facility manager/designee.
Disabled individuals are permitted to bring their service dogs into the visiting room.