Guide to Visiting a Prisoner for the First Time

Prison Info

Visiting a loved one in prison can seem challenging for first-timers. This guide will provide insights into what to expect and how to prepare.

Before you visit

Before visiting a prisoner, it’s crucial to understand and adhere to custom protocols, designed to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort. The general process might vary somewhat depending on the specific prison.

  1. Get approval: You need prior approval from the prison to visit an inmate. The prisoner has to list your details in their visitor list. After verification, you would receive an approval.
  2. Schedule a visit: Upon approval, you can schedule your visit. The visiting hours vary across different prisons, so it’s always advisable to cross-verify before planning your journey.
  3. What to carry: ID is mandatory. Take a few coins for the vending machine and a locker token. Personal belongings can be left in locker facilities available at most prisons.

During your visit

First-time visitors often feel anxious. Knowing the protocols can help put your mind at ease.

  • Dress code: Follow the dress code given by the prison as inappropriate clothing might result in visiting rights being revoked.
  • Conduct: Maintain decorum during the visit. Any sort of aggressive behaviour could lead to termination of the visit.
  • Physical contact: Handshakes or hugs are usually allowed at the beginning and end of the visit, however, it can vary depending on prison regulations.

After your visit

Post-visit, remember to gather your belongings from the lockers. You might want to review your visit experience for future references.

Tips for a successful visit

First-time prison visits can be an emotional roller-coaster. However, a few practical tips can make the experience smoother.

  1. Plan: Plan your visit well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.
  2. Be punctual: Arrive early to account for check-in time, especially if you’re visiting during peak hours. This will help ensure you get to spend the maximum time possible with your loved one.
  3. Children: If you intend to bring children with you, explain to them about the situation and what to expect, it can reassure them.
  4. Support: Seeking support from prisoner family networks can be very helpful for first-time visitors. They offer first-hand advice and experiences.
  5. Be positive: A positive mindset can make a significant difference to both you and the prisoner.

Visiting a prisoner requires patience and understanding of the unique environment. Over time, it gets more manageable as you get accustomed to the process. The goal is to keep the visit as positive as possible, offering an essential morale boost for your loved one.

Need more information?

We have a wealth of resources and guides that can help you navigate through this challenging time. This includes a comprehensive prison directory with extensive information on visiting hours, facilities and services. We also provide a supportive community of people who have similar experiences and can offer advice and encouragement.

What is the cheapest way to call from Prison?

It is by far cheaper to call landline numbers - however landlines are becoming less common in homes & it is by far more convenient to call your loved ones mobile incase you are calling when they aren't at home. Our call packages gives you the best of both worlds - landline call pricing, but the prisoner can call you on your mobile!

Is it cheaper to call a landline from prison?

Most definitely - YES! Mobiles can cost over 25p per minute, the precious phone credit runs out very fast! Our unlimited prison calls package saves money whilst adding the convenience of being able to pickup calls on your mobile.
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