Coordinating Inmate Visitation To Minimize Conflicts

Most jails allow three to five visitors to see an inmate at the same time. Problems can come about when too many people want to be there simultaneously. Managing the visitation schedule will reduce stress and insure that your inmate gets to see everyone.

Check Visitation Rules

Some jails will allow people to split visits in half. For example, if visits are one hour long, they will allow the inmate to see half the visitors for the first 30 minutes and the other half for the second 30 minutes. Other jails will not allow it, so be sure to check the rules with your inmate’s facility to see if it is possible to make the split.

Video: Will Video Chat Replace Family Visits?

 

Take a Head Count

Find out how many people want to visit the inmate on a regular basis. In most cases, spouses, children, family and significant others are more important to the inmate’s stability than friends. If there are a lot of people who want to visit, discuss this with the inmate and ask if he or she can write to or call friends and only have family and significant others visit, if this seems appropriate.

Gather Schedules

Send out the visitation days and hours and ask each person to mark the times and dates they are available to visit the inmate each week.

Match People Up

Make a weekly schedule.

Check the availability of each person for a particular time slot.

Consider the number of people allowed to visit at the same time

Rearrange as needed until no more than the allowable number are on any day’s time slot

If possible, schedule visitors who can ride together and get along.

Final thoughts: Remember, if you share visits with others you will still be able to communicate one-on-one with the inmate by phone and letters. Be sure to specifically schedule spousal visits on anniversaries, kids’ visits near birthdays, parents near Mothers and Father’s Day and other special days as needed.

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