Can I Visit an Inmate if I am on Probation or Parole?

A friend or family member has been arrested and this has created chaos and stress. Before you race off to visit him or her in jail, if you are on probation or parole you need to take the following steps.

  1. Find out the Rules

Some jails will not allow anyone on probation or parole to visit inmates. It is actually a crime in certain states unless you get written permission from the watch commander, but there are many states that will let someone on probation or parole visit inmates.

TIP: Call the jail and ask if people on probation/parole can visit and if so, is there any special process that needs to be followed?

  1. Talk to Your Probation/Parole Officer

Regardless of the jail rules, it is important to ask your probation/parole officer before you schedule a visit OR set foot on jail property. To do otherwise can get your probation/parole violated.

TIP: If it is a family member, state that early in the conversation when you call to ask permission. Some officers will allow jail visits for family members, others will not.

Video: What is online jail or prison visitation like?

  1. Visit the Inmate You Are Approved To Visit

Just because your probation/parole officer gives the green light to visit your family member in jail, it doesn’t mean you can visit other non-family inmates. This could get you violated even if it is another family member you visit who you haven’t discussed with your PO.

TIP: Choose your battles. If the probation/parole officer is nice enough to let you visit your family member, don’t push your luck by asking if you can also visit incarcerated friends.

Final thought: If your probation/parole officer says you cannot visit an inmate at the jail, ask if there is anything you can do to gain future permission. Sometimes, just waiting a few weeks and continuing to comply with the rules of your supervision will change the PO’s mind.

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writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.