With shows like Lockdown broadcasting from prisons in every state, you can get a good idea what your boyfriend’s life is like in prison, but what’s it like for visitors? There are very few accurate television depictions of visiting a prison. This leaves you to figure it out. Here are some helpful suggestions.
Check the prison website. Most of them will have a visitor handbook for you to read. It will tell you what the visiting hours are, what you can and cannot bring and what type of clothing you can wear. Prisons are pickier than jails about visitor attire, however, both types of institutions caution females not to show a lot of skin.
Pack outfits: Just because you read the website doesn’t mean the guard will interpret the rules the same way you did. The safe bet is to have three outfits in your vehicle. Make sure one is ultra conservative – something you would wear to your grandmother’s house. The other two can be cute and a little bit kicky, as long as they are not see-through or extremely low-cut. If you run into ‘that” prison guard, it’s a quick ten minute change of clothing and you are sitting across from your boyfriend in the visiting room.
Bring change: Most prison visiting areas have vending machines. Your guy will be like a kid in a candy store. No reason to disappoint. There may be machines that take paper money, but to be on the safe side bring $20 in quarters too.
Prison photos: Prisons offer photo opportunities during selected visitation throughout the year. If you are going during a day when you and your boyfriend can have a photo taken arrive early, as it may be crowded.
No wire bra: Wires set off the metal detector. The wires can also be made into weapons, escape tools, etc. If the guards find out you have a wire bra you will be told to remove it or not visit. This is a hassle, embarrassing and frustrating. Save yourself the headache by wearing a non-wire bra.
Get there early: Stories abound about loved ones waiting hours to get processed for a visit and only having a short time left once they get inside. Get there as early as possible to be one of the first in line. In addition, if an abnormal number of visitors show up, the prison might split the day in half, which means if you finally got in at 10 a.m. you could be told to leave at noon so the next group can visit. Get there at 8 a.m. and have more time before that happens.
Final thoughts: Regardless of how much of a pain it was to travel there, get past the guards and get to the visiting area, your boyfriend will be so glad to see you that it will have been worth it. Give him a smile, a hug and enjoy your time with him.