RULE 004.00.85-002 - Inmate Visitation

RULE 004.00.85-002. Inmate Visitation

865 Inmate Visitation

I. POLICY OF DEPARTMENT: The policy of the Arkansas Department of Correction is to encourage opportunities for inmate visits with family members, relatives and friends. This is essential to maintaining good morale, sustaining family life, and insuring relationships in the community upon release. It is the purpose of this regulation to set forth rules governing visiting privileges.


Because of limited space, staff availability, scheduling considerations, and security requirements of correctional units/centers, certain limits must be; set and controls established governing visits. Each unit/center shall develop the procedures and regulations required to administer the unit's/center's visiting policy.

Rules pertaining to visitation will be made readily available for visitors and inmates.


A. Approval of Visitors:

Inmates will not be allowed visitors during the initial reception and orientation to the Department of Correction.

Temporary List: Upon reaching the unit of permanent assignment, a temporary visitation list consisting of parents, spouse, children, and siblings may be approved. Inmates may receive up to four (4) visitors on appropriate visitation days, as defined on page 4.

Permanent List: After arrival at the unit of assignment, a list of visitors shall be requested from the inmate.

Inmates will list all persons likely to visit, e.g., spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparents, grandchild, friends, spiritual advisor, attorney, or legal guardian. Minors (those under 18) may be placed on the inmate's visitation list only with the written permission of the minor's parents or legal guardian. Visitors may be listed on only one inmate's list unless they are immediate family members of more than one inmate.

Upon approval of his/her list, the inmate shall notify all persons on his/her approved list that he/she can now receive visits from them. It will be the inmate's responsibility to arrange his/her visits for the proper day and time. It will be the inmate's responsibility to notify visitors when he/she may/will not be allowed to visit during his/her next regular visitation period. This is to be done by correspondence only.

Changes or additions to the approved list may be made at the request of the inmate in accordance with established procedures of the unit/center. It is the inmate's responsibility to notify the Assistant Warden/Center Supervisor of any requested changes on the approved visitation list.

The name of a visitor may be removed for good cause upon written authorization from the Warden/Center Supervisor.

Approved visitors whose residence is more than 300 miles from the unit/center and who can visit on a regular basis during the week and cannot visit on the inmate's regular visitation day can be permitted to visit during the week only after prior arrangements have been made with the Warden/Center Supervisor. These will not be extra visits and will! be considered regular visits. Visitation may be approved for two days of regular visiting hours.

B. Special Visits:

1. Spiritual Advisor and Attorney

Visits between the attorney of record and the inmate will be permitted during regular business hours by prior arrangement, (preferably 24 hours), with the Warden/Center Supervisor. Unit/center staff will observe the visit and will ensure that as much privacy as possible will be provided in the client-attorney relationship.

Spiritual advisors of record, ministers of record, etc., may be authorized visits in the same manner as outlined above.

Spiritual advisors and attorneys not on the approved visitation list may be authorized visits. Contact should be made with the Warden/Center Supervisor or his/her Assistant for an appointment.

2. Ex-Inmates

The existence of a criminal record should not constitute an automatic barrier to proposed visits. Consideration should be given to the nature and extent of the criminal record and history of recent criminal activity as weighed against the. value of the relationship. Ex-inmates who are members of the immediate family may request a special visit six (6) months after release by parole or discharge. Each such case, however, must have the specific written approval of the Warden/Center Supervisor. In the case of a parolee, his/her parole officer will request, in writing, written approval from the Warden/Center Supervisor.

3. Disciplinary Cases

Inmates on punitive status will not be allowed visitation privileges. A special legal visit may be approved in advance by the Warden/Center Supervisor. This is to be done only when the attorney can justify the urgency of the legal matter to be taken prior to the release from punitive status, then only with the consistent need for good security.

4. Special Status/Assignment

Inmates on special status/assignment may be allowed to visit, consistent with good security, as designated by the Warden/Center Supervisor or his/her Assistant. Examples of special status or assignment include, but are not limited to, Administrative Segregation, Investigative Status, Mental Health, and Death Row.

5. Medical

Inmates admitted to a Unit/Center Infirmary may be allowed to receive visits after receiving approval of the Warden/Center Supervisor in concurrence with approval from medical officials. Inmates hospitalized in non-agency facilities may be allowed visitation only if admission is for surgical procedures. Visits will occur prior to surgery OR after returning from recovery. Visitors will be restricted to immediate family on the inmate's approved visitation list. These provisions may be modified at the discretion of the Medical Services Administrator in conjunction with the Warden/Center Supervisor of the inmate's unit/center of assignment.

The Medical Services Administrator will approve and coordinate all visits for inmates who are hospitalized in non-agency facilities for an extended length of time (greater than 7-10 days duration). The visits shall occur at the time the visit would normally have occurred at the inmate's unit/center of assignment. The amount of visitation time shall not exceed four (4) hours in duration. No minors, under the age of 16, will be allowed to visit. Special arrangements may be made for individuals not on the inmate's approved visitation list in cases of terminal illness or critical condition.

C. Visitation Schedule:

1. All eligible inmates shall be entitled to visitation privileges only in accordance with the following schedule:

Saturdays and Sundays, with the exception of the fifth Saturday and fifth Sunday of a month, will be designated visitation days except for special visits. There will be no visitation on holidays unless the holiday falls on a regular visiting day. Hours for visitation will be from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., except as authorized by the Director.

All Class I inmates will be permitted up to four (4) visits per month on Sundays except the fifth Sunday, or as authorized by the Director. All Class II, III, and IV inmates will be permitted two (2) visits per month every other Saturday except the fifth Saturday, or as authorized by the Director. In cases where inmates of the same immediate family are housed at the same unit/center, the Warden/Center Supervisor may approve requests by those inmates to visit on the same day, per the schedule of the lower class inmate.

2. Where space is limited, the Warden/Center Supervisor is authorized, as approved by the Director, to divide the inmate population in such a manner as to balance the number of visitors present on visitation day.

D. Rules Pertaining to Visitors:

1. All visitors. shall register in and out of the unit/center via the, visitation log. The visitation logs are not to be destroyed and are to be maintained by the Warden/Center-Supervisor as permanent records. All visitors will be required to show proof of identification, i.e., driver's license, social security card, etc. Parents or legal guardians may vouch for the identity of their minors.

2. Visitors may be requested to submit to a search for contraband at any time they are on the unit/center, provided that the search has been authorized by the Warden/Center Supervisor. Entrance will be denied if a visitor suspected of carrying contraband is not willing to submit to a search. Any visitor who knowingly brings or attempts to bring any contraband onto the unit/center grounds shall be removed from the unit/center immediately and the incident shall be reported to the Prosecuting Attorney of the county in which the unit/center is located for appropriate action.

Approval of an individual on a visitation list is conditional upon the signing of a consent form, authorizing searches of one's person, vehicle, and personal belongings. Such searches shall not be conducted indiscriminately. Prior to requesting an individual to submit to a search, the Warden/Center Supervisor must determine that a reasonable suspicion exists that contraband may be introduced into the unit/center. This reasonable suspicion may be the result of investigation by Department officials, or observation of unusual circumstances, demeanor, or behavior associated with the visitor. In such circumstances, the search should be limited to a pat search, which must be conducted in the presence of at least one additional officer. Any officer involved in a search of a visitor's person must be of the same sex as the visitor.

In some instances, visitors may be detained or may be required to submit to a strip search. A visitor may be detained only when contraband is actually discovered on his/her person or property. Strip searches will be indicated only if probable cause exists. Probable cause' is defined as a reasonable ground for suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to prompt a cautious man to believe a party is guilty of an offense. Probable cause for searches of visitors will exist in the following circumstances:

(a) A completed investigation exists identifyingt the visitor as a person attempting to introduce contraband into the unit/center on the occasion in question. Prior investigation creates reasonable suspicion that the individual has, on this or previous occasions, been involved in the movement of contraband.

(b) Information is received from law enforcement officials indicating that an attempt to introduce contraband into the unit/center will be made by a particular visitor on a particular occasion.

NOTE: In the event that a Warden/Center Supervisor or higher ranking official is unable to determine whether probable cause exists, contact should be made with the Prosecuting Attorney for that district, the Attorney General's Office, or the Compliance Attorney.

Any visitor found to be attempting to introduce contraband, into a unit/center shall have visitation privileges revoked.

Any visitor refusing a search, (pat or strip), shall be indefinitely suspended from visitation privileges.

E. Restrictions on Visitation Activities:

1. No more than four (4) persons shall be permitted to visit during any one visitation period. Children twelve (12) years of age or younger may be. allowed to visit only when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A person of any age is acknowledged as one of the four persons allowed to visit. EXCEPTION: The spouse of an inmate and all minor children, under the age of 18, may visit at one time, regardless of the number of children, when no other adults are present.

2. Visitors and inmates will not be permitted to directly exchange any object or article. This does not apply to purchases from the Pen Store which are consumed during the visit.

3. Visitors who have been admitted to the unit/center to visit an inmate shall not visit any other inmate unless specific prior permission is granted for such a visit by the Warden/Center Supervisor or his/her Assistant.

4. Visitors will not be admitted when the apparent odor or effect of alcohol or narcotic drugs is detected.

5. Visits may be denied or terminated for reasons of health of the inmate or the visitor.

6. Any behavior on the part of the inmate or visitor which is or may be disruptive to order and control or violate Department of Correction rules will result in denial of or termination of the visit.

7. Visitors will be responsible for keeping children under control. Failure to control and supervise children is grounds for termination of the visit.

8. Visitors' dress must be appropriate for the occasion,. Examples: No shorts, hats, mini-skirts/dresses, or see-through clothing. Provocative clothing will not be allowed.

9. Visitors will be allowed to carry in only the following items: small coin purses, billfolds, identification, baby bottles, baby diapers, car keys, cigarette lighters, and jewelry (being worn). The Department of Correction accepts no responsibility for the property of visitors.

10. Visiting inmates will be allowed to carry in only the following items: combs, handkerchiefs, wedding bands, and cigarettes.

F. Settings for Visits:

1. Visits shall be held in a relaxed manner under official observation. All visitors shall be treated courteously and with understanding. It is important that officers present a good appearance, be pleasant, tactful, alert to any problems which may arise and be able to refer such problems to appropriate officials.

2. Where contact visitation is allowed the inmate and visitors may briefly embrace upon arrival and upon departure and may sit side-by-side. The inmate may hold small children on his/her lap.

3. The Warden/Center Supervisor has the authority to restrict contact visitation consistent with the security needs of the unit/center.

4. Where facilities allow, the inmate and the visitors may eat, drink, and smoke only those items sold in the Pen Store or as designated, by the Warden/Center Supervisor. Inmates and visitors may purchase items that can be consumed during the visitation period. Items not consumed must be taken out by the visitors at the end of the visitation period or thrown away.

G. Security:

When any visit is a threat to the security and order of the unit/center the visit will be discontinued.

H. Inter-Unit Visits:

Inter-unit visitation will not be allowed.

Board of Correction Approval Date: 10/19/84

Attorney Genreal Review Date: 10/19/84

Date Filed Secy of State: 5/22/85

Supersedes: BOC Rales & Regs. Chapter V

Dated: 10/27/73


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