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Time of Visits 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday & State Holidays
Entering a Facility for Visitation
Visiting a correctional facility can feel intimidating, especially for the first-time visitor.
We have our own specific processes and rules, strict security measures, uniformed staff and words and terminology you may not be familiar with. Ultimately, those security features are in place to protect you and your loved one although we understand the potential for concern or confusion.
Our goal is for visitors to be comfortable, even impressed, by our facility environment during your visit. We simply ask that you help us maintain safety and security by following our important guidelines.
Contraband and Personal Items
When entering one of our facilities, typically, visitors are only permitted to bring in an ID and a small amount of cash ($10 or less) or a vending card for use at the facility’s vending machines during visitation. Please check with the facility prior to visitation for specific information on the use of vending cards or cash.
Proper identification must be a valid driver’s license or a government-issued ID. Some facilities require a birth certificate to be presented for children attending the visitation, so check the requirement of the specific facility you are visiting.
For security reasons, visitors will not be allowed to take any personal items or gifts into the facility – including cell phones, wallets, purses, food, gifts, magazines or books.
Attempting to pass any of these unapproved items through security, even if accidentally, is illegal. Please leave all personal items in your vehicle. Some facilities offer lockers in the facility lobby for storing these items.
Additionally, attempting to introduce illegal contraband, such as cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, weapons and cell phones, to a facility inmate is considered a security threat and will result in immediate legal action.
Visitation and Inmate Contact
There are different types of visitation, depending on the facility and the inmate’s classification – contact visitation, noncontact visitation and, occasionally, video visitation.
Most of our facilities have both contact and non-contact visitation. Appropriate contact with your loved one – such as hugging – varies. Our staff will help you understand the appropriate contact rules for your time with your loved one.
Typically contact visitation will be held in a large room with tables. Some facilities have a designated visitation room. Others may use educational rooms for visitation.
Noncontact visitation includes the use of individual booths with telephones for speaking with inmates.
Visitation List and Approval
During the inmate orientation process, inmates will mail a visitation application form to the friends and family members who want to visit.
It is the inmate’s responsibility to mail the applications. Individuals who receive the application must complete the form and mail it back to the specific CoreCivic facility to initiate the approval process. All facility visitors must be approved through a background check prior to visiting an inmate.
Once the background checks are completed, the inmate is responsible for informing friends and family members that they are approved for visitation. Please ensure that, as a visitor, you have been approved before planning your visit.
An inmate can change or update their list over time. If an inmate is transferred to another correctional facility, please check with the facility before visiting to ensure all records were transferred at the time of the move.
Every visitor who enters our correctional facilities must pass through our security measures before proceeding to a visitation area.
Visitors will be screened through a metal detector, much like what you would experience in an airport. However, our metal detector settings are much more sensitive than typical metal detectors. When preparing for your visit, please be sure to consider any metal on your clothing, including underwear and shoes.
Visitation Dress Code
Every facility has a strict dress code for visitors, and each facility’s dress code may vary, sometimes depending on the specific requirements of our government partner. Please review the specific dress code requirements for the facility you are visiting prior to your visit.
A few general guidelines that apply at every facility include:
Visiting from Out of State
If you must travel a great distance to visit your loved one, you want your limited visitation time to go smoothly. To help ensure you are prepared, we’ve assembled our most important advice for a successful visit.
Inmate Visitation Checklist
Before arriving at a correctional facility, think through the following checklist to ensure that you are prepared for visitation.
___ I am on my inmate’s approved visitation list.
___ I have returned my paperwork and passed the visitation background check.
___ I have my driver’s license or government ID.
___ I have planned my visit during the facility’s visitation hours.
___ I have packed facility dress code approved clothes and shoes.
___ I will clear the metal detector.
___ I have ensured that my car, purse and pockets are clear of any inappropriate items before entering the facility grounds.
___ I have checked to see if there are special visitation requirements, such as a scheduled appointment.
Introduction and Summary:
It is the policy of the Georgia Department of Corrections (Department) to provide visitation programs for offenders that are conducive to the establishment and maintenance of positive relationships with family and significant others. Visitation is a privilege for offenders and should not be considered a right. Visits are to be scheduled and supervised, in strict accordance with the following procedures, which are designed to contribute to good public relations and provide a comfortable and secure visitation environment.
Immediate Family: For purposes of this SOP, a member of an offenders family that falls into one of the following relationships - parents, siblings, spouse, grandparents, grandchildren, or children
Extended Family: For purposes of this SOP, a person related to an offender beyond an immediate family member. An extended family member would be a step-parent, step-sibling, step-child, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, uncle, aunt, cousin, half-brother or half-sister, nephew, or niece.
Significant Relationship Visitor: A person having a meaningful relationship with the offender to provide support and encouragement in a rehabilitative capacity. This would include friends, employers, pastors, and other relationships that have the potential for rehabilitative support. An offender visitation list shall be limited to only two (2) visitors in this category at any given time. The term Significant Relationship does NOT imply automatic approval for visitation because of romantic involvement. Rehabilitative potential must still be established.
Next of Kin:
For purposes of this SOP, the person designated by the offender to receive their remains or the person designated to make emergency medical decisions in the event the offender is unable to make medical decisions. In the event, the offender fails to so designate, the person reasonably designated by Department staff.
The person designated, by the offender, to receive the offenders personal property and funds which are left under the custody and control of the Department in the event of the offenders death.
Sexual Offense: As used in the Code section, the term sexual offense means a violation of Code Section 16-6-1, relating to the offense of rape; Code Section 16-6- 2, relating to the offenses of sodomy and aggravated sodomy; Code Section 16-6-5.1, relating to the offense of sexual assault against a person in custody; Code Section 16- 6-22, relating to the offense of incest; or Code Section 16-6-22.2, relating to the offense of aggravated sexual battery, when the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the commission of any such offense; or violation of Code Section 16-6-3, relating to the offense of statutory rape; Code Section 16-6-4, relating to the offense of child molestation and aggravated child molestation; or Code section 16-6-5, relating to the offense of enticing a child for indecent purposes, when the victim was under 16 years of age at the time of the commission of any such offense.
For purposes of this SOP, the word offender is meant as a generic term to encompass all offenders and probationers incarcerated at facilities or centers designated in the Applicability Section of this SOP.
For purposes of this SOP, any item or article that poses serious threat to the security of the facility. Examples of contraband include guns, knives, tools, chemicals, controlled substances, narcotics, alcohol, tobacco, and cellular telephones. This is not an all-inclusive list and other items may be deemed contraband.
Statement of Policy and Applicable Procedures:
Offenders shall not be allowed visitation during the diagnostic process. They shall provide next of kin emergency contact information only. If the diagnostic process is not complete after 60 days a list of the offenders immediate family shall be completed and reviewed for visitation approval. This list shall be used for visitation at the diagnostic facility until the offender is placed in a permanent assignment.
1. The initial approved visitation list shall be obtained, verified and approved at the first permanent placement facility consistent with the method provided for in the policy. This task shall not be a part of the diagnostic process.
The facility shall maintain a visitation area where offenders may have contact visits with their authorized visitors. Restroom facilities shall be provided for visitors in or adjacent to the visitation area. Each facility shall designate an area to allow mothers to breast-feed children.
Video recording of the visitation area is permitted as an added measure to ensure the safety, security and integrity of security operations during visitation periods. The video recordings for visitation should be reviewed by the Deputy Warden of Security or Assistant Superintendent or Chief of Security by the end of the first business day following the visitation period. The Warden or Superintendent shall be notified immediately if anything unusual or outside the parameters of this standard operating procedure or any other applicable standard operating procedures has occurred. If an investigation results from violations observed on the video recordings, then the video recording shall not be reused until complete resolution of the investigation. Any videotapes that have been reviewed and do not reveal any unusual circumstances or security value may be reused after a period of sixty days.
Note: In order to help ensure the safe and secure operation of all Departmental facilities, the Appointing Authority shall require a prospective visitor to sign Attachment 4 (GCIC/NCIC Consent form for Visitors of GDC Facilities), authorizing the release of driver and criminal history information to the Georgia Department of Corrections. This information may be obtained annually thereafter. This information may serve to assist in determining the approval or disapproval of a prospective visitor to a Department facility. Additionally, prospective visitors shall have to complete Attachment 2 (Application for Visitation Privilege). Any change in information provided on this form MUST be updated as it occurs. Failure to sign Attachment 4, and update changes as they occur may result in the denial or revocation of visitation privilege.
Children brought into the facility by a caretaker or guardian to visit an offender (parent) as part of a parenting program (if available), shall remain with the caretaker or guardian until the offender (parent) arrives in the visitation room. At this point the offender (parent) shall assume responsibility for his or her children.
Visitors may be barred from the facility during facility disturbances or emergency situations.
The Front Entry and Visitation Room Officer(s) possess authority to deny visits. When in doubt, the Officer should request guidance from the shift supervisor or Duty Officer. Denial of visit may be the result of a visitor not being on the approved visitation list, inappropriate dress, detection of or the appearance of the use of alcohol or narcotics, or other situations that the Warden or Superintendent or their designee feel may endanger the security of the facility. Any visit that is denied must be documented on the Offender Visitation Register. Use at least two lines on the log: one for the offender and one for each visitor denied. State the name of the offender to be visited, the visitors name, action taken and the reason for denial of visit. Also, document questionable visits allowed by the Shift Supervisor. Forward a copy of the log to the Deputy Warden of Security whenever visits have been denied. In addition, notation of such behavior by a visitor(s) shall be noted in the Comments field in the Contacts, and Case Notes sections of the Departments offender data management system.
Under the rules of the Board of Corrections, visitation is a privilege and not a right. Georgia Department of Corrections has the right to refuse visitation to anyone who is suspected of, is caught on the premises with contraband, attempts to or introduces contraband onto the premises of or into Georgia Department of Corrections facilities, or who has been repeatedly warned about a particular action. Moreover, the Department may suspend or revoke an offenders visitation privileges as a disciplinary sanction for violations of any institutional rules or procedures that have resulted in the offender receiving a Disciplinary Report. The Department also may temporarily suspend visitation privileges to meet special security needs of the facility.
This SOP shall be posted prominently and permanently in the Visitation Area.
GDC - Rules by Type - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions: Visitation
In an effort to improve the experience for all visiting offenders under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Corrections, below please find a list answer to frequently asked questions regarding the visitation process:
1. Is visitation a right? No. While it is important for every offender to maintain connections with and the support of family and friends during incarceration, the safety and security of staff, offenders and visitors are critical. Therefore, visitation is a privilege afforded to offenders and should not be considered as a right.
2. My family member is currently going through the diagnostic process at a facility. Can I visit? No. Offenders will not be allowed to have visits while they are completing the diagnostic process. If the diagnostic process is not complete after 60 days, the offender will complete a visitation list containing the names of immediate family members. Once this list is completed, it will be reviewed for approval by the warden and/or designated facility staff. This list will be used for visitation at the diagnostic facility until the offender is transferred to a permanent assignment.
3. Who can visit? Members of an offender's immediate family, (for example, parents, brothers, sisters, spouse, grandparents, grandchildren, and children) may be requested by the offender for visitation approval. Individuals, who are not considered as “immediate” family members as described above (for example step-parents, stepsiblings, in-laws, uncle, aunt, cousin, half-brother/sister, nephew, niece or step-son/daughter, friends, employers, pastors, and other relationships that have the potential for rehabilitative support ), may be considered as a significant relationship visitor. For individuals wanting to visit as a significant relationship visitor, the offender must initiate such a request. The offender will need to complete the “Significant Relationship Visitor Application for Visitation Privilege” form, which is then sent to the Warden/Superintendent for review. Once approved or disapproved, the offender will be notified and in turn, the offender is responsible for notifying the person seeking to visit as a significant relationship visitor whether the person was approved or not approved to visit. Supporting documentation needed to verify relationships may be required by the facility.
4. How do I get approved for visitation? Offenders must request that you be added to their approved visitation list. Offenders may request to add or delete a name on their visitor list by contacting their counselor and complete all of the necessary information on the visitation list form. The counselor will forward this request to the Warden/Superintendent or designee, who is approves or disapproves changes to offenders’ visitation list. Visitor lists may only be changed when offenders arrive at their first permanent facility or during the months of May and November, but not any earlier than six months from the last change request. Approval or disapproval of a changed visitor list shall be completed and forwarded back offenders within fourteen (14) working days from the date of the requested. Please note that address changes for visitors shall not be subject to the six (6) month review criteria and all corrections shall be done when offenders provide this information.
5. If I am an ex-offender can I be approved for visitation? In order for offenders, ex-offenders, probationers, and parolees to visit, approval must be granted by the Warden/Superintendent prior to being placed on the approved visitor list. All former offenders must have clear Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) criminal history report for one year following their release from prison or since being placed on probation or parole. In addition, the procedures for being placed on an offender’s visitor list as outlined in Questions # 3 above apply in addition to clearing the GCIC check.
6. Can I visit once and not be on the approved visitation list? Each offender may request a “special visit.” Special visits are reviewed for approval on an individual basis by the Warden/Superintendent or designee. Under normal circumstances, special visits require a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours advance notice. Special visits will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Warden or his/her designee, and will take into consideration the offender’s institutional conduct when making the decision to approve or disapprove such a request. Please note that the Warden/Superintendent may depart from this requirement due to the urgency and/or time sensitive nature of the special visit request.
Other examples of special visits may include:
• Offenders, who have documented protective custody needs, may be required to visit at times when other potentially threatening offenders are not in the visitation area.
• When a family member lives far away, i.e. out-of-state, a family member is in the military on personal leave, a family member is unable to drive and must be driven to the facility for visitation by a non-family member, significant other, child advocacy groups bringing children, clergy, change in family that relatives want to inform the offender of, i.e. death, birth, marriage, extreme illness, incentive award programs may be developed to earn special visits.
• Special visits may also be utilized for offenders’ immediate family that have recently been discharged from prison or that are on probation or parole. Special visits will be limited to no more than two (2) visitors at any one time.
7. What are the days and times of visitation? Normally, visitation occurs on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and the duration of each visiting period will be for a minimum of six (6) hours. Because some facilities have smaller visitation areas than others, it is necessary to split the visitation schedule (i.e. offenders with a last name beginning with any letter A-K visits 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and any offender with a last name beginning with any letter L-Z visits 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM).
Please note that all State facilities and Private Prisons will observe those days proclaimed by the Governor of Georgia as legal state holidays. In addition, County institutions will observe legal holidays that are recognized by their local governing authority. For further detail of the specific visitation hours at the facility to which an offender is assigned, one must contact that facility to obtain more detailed information.
8. Can I visit the whole day? Normally, there will be no restrictions placed on the length of visits during the facility's established visitation periods. However, certain situations that may affect the length of time for a visit. Below please find a general list of situations:
• in order to have the offender in the visitation area during the mid-day count, visitors must arrive at the facility one (1) hour prior to the time that is designated by the Warden as the mid-day count. The mid-day count time shall be posted in all living areas and in the visitation room.
• the shift supervisor has the authority to adjust the length of visitation times allotted to individual offenders, or to terminate visits, during times of overcrowding.
• the shift supervisor may also terminate individual visits because of improper conduct or failure to abide by regulations.
• if an offender has more than one visitor on a given day, individual visitors may be limited to a time of less than four (4) hours.
• if overcrowding requires the termination of visits, offenders who had their visits begun first will normally be the first to have their visits terminated. However, such factors as relationships, frequency of visits, distance traveled, etc. will be taken into consideration.
9. Where do I park when I arrive at the facility? All visitors' vehicles will be parked in the facility's designated visitor parking lot. All windows must be closed and doors locked. Visitors will not park in any of the restricted areas, which have been marked. No persons or pets will be left in vehicles parked in the parking lot on the facility’s grounds (considered State property) for any reason.
10. What is the dress code for visitation? Visitors are required to wear appropriate attire. Shoes are required at all times for visitors, including children if they are able to walk or stand. Male visitors will be required to wear shirts and full-length trousers. Females may wear trousers, or if a female visitor wears a dress, skirt or other similar garment, it may NOT be more than two (2) inches above the knees. Furthermore, all female visitors must wear foundation type garments such as bras, panties, and slip.
Inappropriate clothing shall include, but not be limited to:
• Dresses or tops with thin straps which expose shoulders or chest area in any manner;
• tube tops or halters of any type;
• any type of clothing which reveals the stomach or midriff area;
• any type of clothing that is made of sheer or transparent material;
• shorts of any kind or any kind of slacks that are above the knee (twelve 12) years old and under may wear shorts);
• Male visitors are not permitted to wear tank tops or short tops of any kind, nor see-through tops made of net or mesh webbing. Shorts are not permitted (children twelve 12 years old and under may wear shorts).
• Any other type of clothing that is suggestive or revealing in any way shall be prohibited.
11. What type of identification do I need to have in order to be allowed to visit at the facility? Visitors are required to present positive identification prior to their admission for visiting. A driver's license with picture, a picture identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety, or other acceptable photographic identification card will be required of all visitors age sixteen (16) and over. A temporary driver's license issued by the Department of Public Safety will be acceptable when accompanied by some other form of appropriate picture identification. Identification cards will be maintained in a secure area outside the actual visitation area and will be returned at the conclusion of the visit.
12. What items am I allowed to bring to visitation? Visitors can only bring into the facility items identified by the facility (i.e., identification card, car keys) No food or drink will be brought into the facility from the outside other than bottled formula or like store-bought products for babies. Visitors will be allowed to bring a maximum of twenty dollars ($20.00) in coins to be used for the vending machines. Funds from visitors for offenders will be accepted only through the mail. Musical instruments, radios, pets, cameras, or tape recorders will not be allowed in the visiting area.
13. Will I be searched? All visitors are subject to a preliminary search of their person by electronic surveillance instruments (metal detectors, etc.). All items brought into the facility by a visitor will be searched by officers assigned to the visitation area. If correctional staff determine that there is reasonable suspicion of violations of department policies on contraband a more thorough search must be conducted. If this occurs, the visit will not be permitted without the visitor consenting to such a search, and then only after the search is completed will the visit occur.
14. Can I visit another offender at the same facility? No. One offender's visitors will not be allowed to visit with another offender or his/her visitors.