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Visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitation list. Inmates may receive visits from immediate family (parents, brothers, sisters, spouse, grandparents, children and stepchildren). Inmates may also receive visits from significant others (a member of an inmate's extended family, a friend, or some other person having a meaningful relationship with the inmate).
Visitors may be requested to complete a GCIC/NCIC consent form for GDC facilities authorizing the release of driver and criminal history information to the Georgia Department of Corrections and this facility. Information received will determine approval/disapproval to visit the facility. Individuals considered as "significant others" must complete the "significant other" application process for visitation privilege.
Visitors under the age of sixteen (16) must be accompanied by an adult on the visiting list. Any searches of children sixteen (16) years and younger must be performed in the presence of the companied adult. The application process takes approximately 4-6 weeks. The inmate you are requesting to visit will receive a notice advising of the approval/denial of your visitation application.
Regular visiting is held on Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 8:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. and then again at 2:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
The visitation schedule is rotated between housing units every quarter.
Visitors will be allowed to visit with an inmate during the scheduled time allotted for his housing unit. Normally, there will be no restrictions placed on the length of visits during the facility's established visitation periods. However, the Shift Supervisor has the authority to adjust the length of visitation times allotted to individual inmates or to terminate visits, during a time of overcrowding. If overcrowding requires of termination of visits, inmates who had their visits begun first will normally be first to have their visits terminated. However, such factors as relationships, frequency of visits, distance traveled, etc, will be taken into consideration. The Shift Supervisor may also terminate individual visits because of improper conduct or failure to abide by regulations.
Visitors are required to park in the designated visitor parking lot. Visitors must ensure that vehicle windows are closed and doors are locked. Visitors are not authorized to park in any of the restricted areas. Persons or pets are not allowed to be left in parked vehicles during visitation. All visitors will be required to sign in and out for all visiting sessions on the Inmate Visitor Register. Any small child incapable of signing in is required to be signed in by the adult visitor who is responsible for the child.
Visitors are required to pass through a metal detector before being allowed into visitation. In the event that a visitor is unable to pass through the metal detector or there is reasonable suspicion that the visitor is in possession of contraband, a pat and/or frisk search may be conducted. Prior to the pat and/or frisk search; the visitor must complete a Voluntary Search Consent. Any visitor who refuses to complete the consent form to be searched will not be allowed to visit until approved in writing by the Chief of Security or Administrative Duty Officer.
Visitors are required to wear appropriate attire. Shoes are required for all visitors, including children, at all times. Male visitors are required to wear shirts and full-length trousers. Inappropriate clothing shall include, but not limited to:
• Dresses or tops with thin straps which expose shoulders or chest area in any manner
• Tube tops or halter tops 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 (children aged twelve and under may wear shorts)
• Dresses, skirts, or similar garments that are more than two (2) inches above the knees
• Females are required to wear foundation type garments such as bras, panties, and slip
• 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) and under may wear shorts)
Visitors are not allowed to wear inmate clothing or jewelry at any time during the visit.
The visitor must possess a current photo ID. The visitor's identification and car keys must be submitted to the visitation officer prior to entering the visitation area and will be returned at the completion of the visit.
What items am I allowed to bring to visitation? Visitors may only bring in authorized items identified by the facility (I.E. ID card, car keys, currency not to exceed $25.00, currency allowed consists of change and/or $1.00 bills). Visitors are not allowed to bring food or drink into the facility. Visitors are not allowed to bring food or drink into the facility. Visitors are not allowed to bring money for inmates when visiting. Musical instruments, radios, pets, cameras, or tape recorders will not be allowed in the visiting area. Visitors that appear to be under the influence of drug and/or alcohol will not be permitted to visit. The introduction, or attempted introduction, of any form of contraband into the visiting area or within the facility property will result in appropriate action taken by both the visiting room officer and administrative staff.
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.
• 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.