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Shelby County Jail - Memphis Visiting Hours and Visitation Schedule

201 Poplar Avenue
Shelby County
Main Phone: 901-377-4500
Beds: 2500
The information below provides complete instructions regarding Shelby County Jail - Memphis Visiting Hours and Visitation Schedule, Visiting Rules, Inmate Video Visits and Jail Visitation process in Memphis, Tennessee.

Following these instructions exactly will enhance your chances of getting official approval to visit an inmate.

It is highly recommended that prior to an inmate visit you call the jail at 901-377-4500 to confirm that visits have not been cancelled.

Shelby County Jail - Memphis Visiting Hours, Schedule and Instructions

Step 1

Arrive at the jail 30 minutes prior to your scheduled visitation.

Step 2

Leave all belongings in your vehicle other than a car key and your two forms of ID.

EXCEPTION: For convenience to accommodate babies, one (1) clear plastic bottle half full and one (1) diaper is allowed.

Step 3

Present two forms of valid, government-issued ID. One must be a driver’s license/state-issued ID and have a photo of you. Both must have your legal name.

Acceptable forms of ID for this purpose include:

State Issued I.D. or Driver License (Primary)


Social Security Card

Military ID

Voter Registration

Work ID

School ID

Who Can Visit an Inmate in Shelby County Jail - Memphis

Anyone over the age of 18, who isn't on felony probation and can produce a valid government-issued photo ID can be approved to visit an inmate in this jail.

Visitation applicants in Shelby County must sometimes submit to a background check. Those with warrants are denied visitation or if allowed to visit, will be arrested at the jail.

This jail limits the number of visitors for an inmate during any visitation to four adults and three children.

Children under age 18 must be accompanied by the parent or legal guardian.

Call 901-377-4500 to ask specific questions about this policy or click here for any updates to this policy.

It is likely that the Shelby County Jail - Memphis will deny visitation to anyone with a past felony conviction regardless of probation/parole status. Call 901-377-4500 prior to arriving for the specific jail guideline regarding your legal status.

If you are a co-defendant with the inmate in a pending case, your visit will be denied.

If you and the inmate are under a court order to have no contact with each other, your visit will be denied.

The Shelby County Jail - Memphis reserves the right to deny any person the right to enter the jail it chooses and for any reason.

Shelby County Jail - Memphis Visitation Application Process

Shelby County Jail - Memphis requires all visitors to fill out an application prior to your visiting an inmate.

Click here to access the application and fill it out.

Carefully fill out the application. Incomplete paperwork is cause for denial.

Honesty, especially regarding past criminal convictions, probation etc., is important. These things will most likely show up on the background check – which if lied about on the application, will cause visits to be denied.

It takes approximately two to three weeks to have your application reviewed and granted or denied approval for visitation.

If a minor child is to visit an inmate and someone other than the child’s parent or legal guardian will be bringing the child to the visits, a notarized and approved application pertaining to the minor must be completed. Click here to view and print the application form.

The authorized adult bringing the child must be on the inmate’s approved visitation list.

Call 901-377-4500 to ask specific questions about the application.

Click here to go to the jail's website for more information about the application process. 

Visiting Hours in Shelby County Jail - Memphis

Visitation hours and days rotate depending on several factors. Click here to view current schedule.

Shelby County Jail - Memphis Visitation Dress Code

The Shelby County Jail - Memphis staff will turn anyone away who is not dressed appropriately for a visit.

The best way to be sure the visit takes place is to dress as if you are meeting someone's grandmother for the first time. 

Clothing must fit properly. If it is too large or small you will not be allowed to visit unless you change into a different and acceptable outfit.

You must wear undergarments.

Shoes are required, flip-flops or shower shoes are prohibited.

Shorts or skirts are permitted and should come to the knee.

All jewelry must be removed except for one ring, one watch and small stud-style earrings.

Spandex clothing is not allowed.

You cannot wear clothing that is see-through.

Sleeveless clothing is prohibited.

No camouflage attire.

Anything clothing with slogans, printed photos, and vulgarity or gang-related is not permitted.

Hats or baseball caps as well as scarves, bandannas or hair rollers are forbidden.

Clothing with metal studs or chains sewn to the garments and large metal belt buckles cannot be worn.

Shelby County Jail - Memphis Visitation Tips, Rules and Guidelines

Visitation is in person. You may briefly shake hands, quick hug or small kiss at the start and end of the visit. No other physical contact is permitted during the visit.

New arrival inmates housed in the “New Arrival” area are not allowed visitation.

Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and guardians must provide proof of their guardianship.

Children 12-years-old and older must fill out a visitation application and be placed on the inmate’s approved visitation list. The child is required to sign the application along with the parent or guardian.

Leave all personal belongings, except for your state ID in your vehicle or in a locker (if one is provided).

Children must be monitored at all times or jail staff will end the visit early.

Call 901-377-4500 or click here to go to the jail's official website for additional Rules regarding Shelby County Jail - Memphis visitation.

'At Home' Video Visitation

Many jails are implementing video visits. These visits are conducted via the Internet on computers, IPADS and Smart phones.

Video visits allow the visit to take place in the privacy of your own home. Some family members 'take their inmate with them' to church, the park, the doctor or anywhere else simply by signing in and bringing the device along.

Video visits save you from having to get your children ready, drive to the jail, wait in long lines and go through security checkpoints just to see the inmate.

Video visitation is slowly gaining favor with all jails in America as jail management realizes the financial savings and reduced security risks involved with remote visitation.

Click here to see if video visitation is now available at Shelby County Jail - Memphis – as well as to view the complete set of rules, the cost to you and how to get set up online.

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