What to Take to a Prison Visit

What to Take to a Prison Visit

What to Take to a Prison Visit: The Ultimate Checklist for a Smooth Visitation Experience

Before you head to the prison, make sure you’re familiar with the location and consider arriving early to navigate through security checks. A valid photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, will be required upon arrival.

If you’re planning to buy food or drinks from the prison’s shop during your visit, it’s permissible to bring a certain amount of money. To know the limit, it’s advisable to contact the prison in advance, its usually coins only, no notes.

If you intend to provide the inmate with any items, be aware that direct handoffs are not allowed. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to call the facility beforehand to find out the approved method for transferring items.

Will I Be Searched?

Yes, expect both your bags and your person to undergo a search. This could include a pat-down and a request to open your mouth. Rest assured that these procedures should be conducted respectfully and courteously.

What to Expect During the Visit

Once inside, you will be assigned a seating area where you’re generally expected to remain seated throughout the visit. Brief hugs are usually allowed at the start and conclusion of the meeting.

Be aware that prison staff will be present and may monitor your conversation. Smoking is typically prohibited in the visiting hall.

Keep in mind that the prison has the authority to terminate your visit early or deny it entirely if you violate any visitation rules. This could also happen if you pose a security risk or cause concern to other visitors, in which case you might be offered a “closed” visit instead.

What to Take to a Prison Visit

What ID do i need for a prison visit?

Essential Identification Documents

Visiting a prison necessitates strict adherence to identification protocols. A government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or a passport, is often mandatory for adults. For minors, you may need additional documents like a birth certificate. Always check with the specific facility in advance.

What do i wear to a prison visit? Clothing Guidelines: What to Wear

When deciding what to take to a prison visit in terms of clothing, keep in mind the facility’s guidelines. Typically:

  • Avoid clothing that resembles prison attire, such as orange, khaki, or green uniforms.
  • Refrain from wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing; otherwise, your visit may be terminated prematurely.
  • Opt for closed-toe shoes, which are both comfortable and compliant with most dress codes.
What to Take to a Prison Visit

What to Take to a Prison Visit

Approved Food and Snack Items

While some prisons offer vending machine options, bringing in outside food is generally not permitted.

Children and Baby Essentials

If you’re bringing children along, you might be allowed to take:

  • A single clear plastic bag containing diapers, wipes, and baby formula.
  • A single toy or book to entertain the child.

Medical Supplies: Be Prepared

For those who require medication, life-saving medicines like EpiPens or inhalers are generally allowed but must be declared upon entry. Any prescription medication should have prior approval from the facility.

Prohibited Items to Avoid

It is crucial to know what NOT to bring to a prison visit. Forbidden items generally include:

  • Personal electronics, including phones and cameras
  • Excessive jewelry, other than wedding rings
  • Cash above a minimal amount, typically designated for vending machines
  • Anything that can be considered a weapon


What kind of ID do I need for a prison visit?

A government-issued photo ID is usually required for adults. Minors may require additional documentation like a birth certificate.

Can I bring a gift, items or clothing for the prisoner?

Not normally, there are usually drop off days where you can bring items in such as stereos, clothing, books and so on but it will need to be pre-approved and dropped off to their security area for them to check and process before it reaches the prisoner.

Planning what to take to a prison visit can be overwhelming, but this checklist should help streamline the process. Always remember to consult the specific prison’s guidelines or call ahead to remove any doubts.

Being well-prepared ensures a smoother visitation experience, allowing you to focus on spending quality time with your loved one. For further details, always refer to the specific guidelines provided by the facility you are visiting.

What to Take to a Prison Visit