Most inmate medical needs are taken care of at the county jail through a doctor and nursing staff. Sometimes a health condition arises that requires hospitalization. Hospital visitation rules depend on several factors:
Jail rules: Some jails have a non-negotiable rule that inmates in the hospital cannot receive visitors. They consider it a security risk. They also believe it cuts down on “faked” health issues by inmates who simply want to see their families.
Crime severity: You are more likely to be able to visit an inmate family member in a hospital if his conviction was for bouncing a check or vandalism than if he is currently awaiting trial for murder. Not only does the jail feel the visit to the murder suspect is a security risk, but societal reactions drive political decisions.
Who you are: If you are not an immediate family member of the inmate, don’t count on being allowed to visit. Hospitalized inmates are under tight security and the guards will be cautious about letting anyone other than family into the room.
Inmate attitude: Some inmates are calm, compliant and not a problem. Others can be a handful. Add a medical condition to it and it can be stressful. You have a better chance of visiting the inmate if he does not cause problems for jail or hospital personnel.
Final thoughts: The jail can tell you what the rules are in your county regarding visiting inmates in the hospital. Even if the jail says no, it might not hurt to drop by the hospital and ask the guard’s permission. Don’t enter the room without permission though, or you could be charged with a crime.
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