13-011 Code Vt. R. 13-130-011-X - VISITS (966)
960-999 Civil Rights
UNITS AFFECTED: All
The Department urges and encourages extensive visiting to foster and maintain family and community ties. Therefore, in order to ensure that the facility does not isolate the residents from the public and from their families and friends, each facility shall establish visiting practices that are as open as facility resources, program demands, and security will permit.
To establish guidelines within which specific visiting practices can be developed at correctional facilities.
Staff and residents at all correctional facilities.
Each Superintendent shall ensure that each facility establishes a visiting program which will designate the days of the week and the hours during which visits will be permitted. This program will be reviewed annually and updated if necessary by the Superintendent. Visiting hours may be varied to satisfy the schedules, space, and personnel restraints of individual facilities.
Space shall be made available within each facility to be used by residents and visitors with some degree of privacy. Visiting should be conducted informally and openly, consistent with the facility requirements and the availability of space in each facility.
Each facility shall adopt rules of conduct for their visiting areas. Where security is required, a visiting room officer should be present during all visiting hours, and it will be his responsibility to maintain order and security and to enforce the rules of conduct. He should supervise the visiting area in an unobtrusive a manner as possible, and should not unnecessarily interfere with participants' privacy. Any behavior on the part of a resident or visitor which is disruptive to the order and control of the visiting room shall result in termination of the visit.
The number of visits or visitors a resident may receive may be limited consistent with institutional security and space availability. While several members of a family may be allowed to visit, group meeting with one or more residents do not fall within the scope of this policy. They are more properly considered as a program question subject to the review and control of the Superintendent and the Classification Committee.
No group of persons, such as parolees or ex-offenders may be excluded from visiting residents solely because of their status. Representatives of media are considered visitors and are subject to the visiting rules and regulations of the facility.
Visitors will be refused admission if apparently under the influence of alcohol or narcotic drugs.
Each visitor shall, upon entry, register his name, address, and relationship to the resident. Visitors may be requested to submit to a search and/or to a review by an electronic device in search of contraband as a protection to the visitor, the residents, and others in the facility. (See also Policy 1012--Contraband.)
Entrance may be prohibited if the visitor is not willing to submit to a search or if there is reason to believe that the visit could be a threat to the welfare or security of the facility, its personnel, or the residents.
When a visitor is refused entrance, the person to be visited shall be advised of this fact and told the reasons for the refusal.
Visits by clergy, corrections employees, and other individuals in official positions may be permitted at times other than normal visiting hours subject to facility requirements for security, staff availability, etc.
It is recognized that residents have a right to consult with an attorney, and every effort should be made to allow attorney visits at all reasonable times. The resident has the right to private counsulation, but does not have a right to absolute privacy. Such visits may also be governed by reasonable regulations, such as interruption for fixed meal times, so long as any restrictions do not work a hardship on the resident or attorney (e.g., where the attorney travels great distances and will be unable to return for some time). (See also Policy 446--Detentioners/"Safekeepers."
Each Superintendent shall develop guidelines for determining which residents may be permitted extended visits on furlough status with their families. These guidelines shall contain the lengths of allowable visits, where the visit is to take place, and other special conditions consistent with the Department Policy 601--Furlough and Furlough Revocation.
The Superintendent shall have complete discretionary authority to allow emergency visits.
Limits may be placed on the visiting program of a resident in a special classification status.
Each facility shall adopt visiting regulations consistent with this policy and make them available to all residents and visitors.
28 V.S.A. Sec. 102(c)
28 V.S.A. Sec. 601(7)
28 V.S.A. Sec. 804
28 V.S.A. Sec. 805
Cornelius Hogan, Commissioner
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