Visiting Applications

Inmate Visiting applications – find applications for visitation online

Visits from friends and family while incarcerated is widely understood as important for the well-being and successful release of inmates. Facility officials cooperate with visitors to make sure time spent with inmates is safe and organized. Visiting a correctional facility can be a complicated process, requiring preparation and registration.

You are required to be pre-approved by filling out a visitor’s application. Most states post these applications online in .pdf form, which can be taken directly to the jail, printed and mailed to a specified address, or filled out and submitted online. On, we provide links to visitor applications for almost every federal, state and county correctional facility.  

On the application, you will be asked for personal information including your address, identification number and details about your appearance. You will also be asked questions about your relationship to the inmate, and about your criminal record. Make sure you know the inmate’s full name and Department of Corrections assigned number. A separate application must be completed for each child aged 17 and under, and the minor must be accompanied by an approved immediate family member or legal guardian.

Once you’ve submitted an application, the prison will likely perform a background check before you are allowed to visit the inmate. For this reason, it can take up to six weeks for the application to be processed. Do not submit multiple applications for yourself or a minor, as this will delay the approval process. You can be denied for the following reasons:

– You recently served jail time

– You are on probation or out of jail on a bond

– An order of protection has been filed against you by the inmate

– You have filed an order of protection against the inmate

– You are legally involved with the inmate’s court case

– You have a history of drug violations

– Prison or court officials have deemed you a security risk

If you are accepted, it is usually the responsibility of the inmate to inform you, so don’t expect a call or written notice from the jail of your approval status. Certain types of visitors are given priority such as family, children, and legal representatives, while there may be more strict limits on the number of friends, religious advisors or business associates an inmate can approve.

Always call the prison to check your approval status and confirm visiting hours, as scheduling changes and delays can occur due to lockdowns, holidays and other events. Make sure to check the prison’s government website for their specific rules. Use InmatesPlus to find links to these websites and other resources.

Inmate visiting hours

Weekends and holidays are usually the busiest days for jail visits, however most facilities host visitors on weekdays as well. Hours can also vary depending on where the inmate is housed, custody (security) level and limited space for visitors. The inmate should be able to tell you which days they can receive visitors, and then book an available slot.

Inmate visitation rights

Inmates do not have a right to visitation, seeing visitors is considered a privilege. Correctional facilities must, however, have a legitimate reason for denying visitation, usually related to prison management or criminal rehabilitation.

Dress code for prison visits

Most facilities have a dress code for visitors, to prevent contraband and other breaches to the rules.  Some prohibited clothing includes hats, short and revealing clothing, clothes that resemble prisoner’s clothes, among others.

Physical contact

Physical contact is limited when visiting an inmate due to security risks and disorderly conduct. Visits are monitored by correctional officers, and you may be required to visit the inmate through a glass barrier. Conjugal visits for couples are allowed at some facilities.

Financial assistance

Some prisons offer discounts or reimbursement for transportation or hotel accommodations available to families coming a long distance to visit an inmate. In most cases, however, visitors must fund the trip themselves.

Video visits

If you are unable to travel to visit an inmate at the correctional facility, check if there is an option for video visitation. Through webcam and microphone hooked up on your computer, you will be able to chat with the inmate on a previously scheduled time and date.