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October 23, 2014

Visitation

GUIDELINES FOR VISITORS

Visitation with offenders committed to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections (DPS&C) is a privilege.  Visitation may be restricted, denied or suspended if an offender and/or visitor does not follow the Department’s visitation rules.  Prospective visitors may refer to Department Regulation C-02-008 for specific rules governing offender visitation.  The regulation may also be obtained by requesting a copy from the facility. Items considered to be contraband, including any type of weapon, firearm or any other item detrimental to the security of the facility, are not allowed. Prohibited items and other personal possessions (wallet, purse, cash, etc.) must be left in the visitor’s locked vehicle for the duration of the visit.  The following are rules that a visitor must follow in order to be allowed to visit with an offender:

1. VISITING LIST: In order to visit an offender, the visitor must be on the offender’s approved visiting list.  The offender has been given information on how to put someone on their visiting list. If you are uncertain as to whether you are on the offender’s approved visiting list, please contact the offender you wish to visit. Do not call the facility for this information; it will not be provided over the phone.

2. SEARCHES: All visitors, including minors, are subject to searches of their property, automobile and person. These searches shall be conducted by trained staff in a professional manner that minimizes indignity to the visitor while still accomplishing the objective of the search.  Additionally, visitors shall be subject to additional searches using metal detectors and ion scanning equipment. Specially trained search dogs (K-9s) may be used as a part of the search process both prior to a visitor entering the visiting area and in the actual visiting room during visits. Any person refusing to be searched at any time shall not be permitted to enter the facility and a visit may be terminated if a visitor refuses to be searched, or if contraband or other prohibited property or items are found on the visitor or in the visitor’s property. If a visitor does not wish to be searched either by hand or by using other means, the visitor should not attempt to enter a DPS&C facility.

3. REGISTRATION: Visitors must register with staff prior to entering the visiting area.

4. IDENTIFICATION:  All visitors who are 18 years old or older shall be required to show a picture identification each time they visit.  The forms of identification accepted by the DPS&C are:

  • Valid driver’s license from the state of residence;
  • Valid state photo identification card from the state of residence;
  • Valid military photo identification card (active duty only);
  • Valid passport.

5. CHILDREN: Visitors under the age of 18 years of age must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian at all times while on facility grounds. Children shall not be left alone at any time while on facility grounds. Parents or legal guardians shall be responsible for the behavior of their children and a visit may be terminated if the children become disruptive.

6. DRESS STANDARDS: Visitors shall wear clothing that poses no threat to the security or maintenance of order at the facility. The following standards are to be met:

  • Clothing that is similar in appearance to the clothing worn by the prison’s offender population is prohibited;
  • Clothing that is similar in appearance to the clothing worn by correctional officers, i.e. camouflage, blue BDU’s, etc. is prohibited;
  • Sheer or transparent clothing is not permitted;
  • Swim suits are not permitted;
  • Skirts, shorts, skorts, culottes and dresses must be no shorter than three inches above the kneecap and not have deep or revealing slits;
  • Strapless, tube and halter tops, tank tops and strapless dresses are not permitted;
  • Tops that expose the midriff are not permitted;
  • Tight fitting pants, such as stirrup, spandex, lycra or spandex-like athletic pants, aerobic/exercise tights or leotards shall not be worn;
  • Undergarments must be worn at all times and cannot be exposed;
  • Clothing with revealing holes or tears higher than one inch above the kneecap is not permitted;
  • Clothing or accessories with obscene or profane writing, images or pictures is not permitted;
  • Gang or club-related clothing or insignia indicative of gang affiliation is not permitted;
  • Shoes must be worn at all times, except for infants who are carried. House slippers or shower shoes are not allowed;
  • Hats or other head coverings are not permitted, except as required by religious beliefs.

7. ITEMS NOT PERMITTED:  Visitors shall not be permitted to possess or carry the following items into the visiting area: controlled substances; alcoholic beverages; marijuana; tobacco and tobacco related items; cameras, video and audio recording equipment and electronic devices, including but not limited to cellular telephones, pagers, BlackBerries, radios, tape recorders, etc.

8. MEDICATION: Only prescribed medication that is life-saving or life-sustaining (such as nitroglycerine pills, inhalers, oxygen, etc.) shall be permitted. Medication shall be limited in quantity to no more than that required for the duration of the visit. Visitors must advise the staff at the visiting desk that they are in possession of such medication.

9. INFANTS: If the visitor has an infant child, the following items shall be permitted: four diapers; two jars vacuum sealed baby food; two plastic bottles milk or juice; one change of clothing; one baby blanket (maximum width and length not to exceed 48 inches) and one clear plastic bag of baby wipes. These items (except the baby blanket) must be stored in a single clear plastic container (i.e., gallon size zip-lock bag.) All items are subject to search.

10. MONEY: Visitors shall not give any money to an offender. All state correctional facilities utilize JPAY for offender money deposits.  JPAY allows family members and friends to make a deposit to an offender’s account in a number of ways:  via U.S. mail, via the internet, via telephone, via kiosks at the correctional facility and via Moneygram locations.  More information can be found at http://www.doc.la.gov/quicklinks/offender-info/jpay/#mail.

11. CONTACT BETWEEN OFFENDERS AND VISITORS: Offenders who have contact visits may embrace (hug) and exchange a brief kiss (briefly to indicate fondness, not a lingering kiss) with their visitor at beginning and end of the visit. During the visit, the only contact permitted is holding hands. Excessive displays of affection or sexual misconduct between offenders and visitors is strictly prohibited. Small children may be permitted to sit on the lap of the visitor or offender. Any improper contact between an offender and visitor shall be grounds for stopping the visit immediately. Some offenders are restricted to non-contact visits. In these cases, there shall be no physical contact (touching) between the offender and the visitors. Restroom breaks may be authorized; however, visitors will be subject to the entire search process.

12. RESTRICTIONS ON VISITS WITH MINORS: Offenders who have a current or prior conviction for a sex crime involving a minor child family member, or who have a documented history of sex abuse with a minor child family member, are ineligible to visit with any minor child, including their own biological or step-child. Offenders who have a current or prior conviction for a sex crime involving a minor child who is not a family member are ineligible to visit with any minor child. The offenders affected by these restrictions have been informed of possible exceptions that may only be approved by the Warden.

13. GENERALLY PROHIBITED:  The giving or receiving of any item(s) to/from an offender without the prior approval of staff is prohibited. Violators are subject to arrest and criminal prosecution and suspension of visiting privileges.  The only exception is that the visitor may purchase soft drinks, snacks or concessions in the visiting area and share them with the offender. The offender is not permitted to take anything out of the visiting area when the visit is finished, other than with approval as noted above.

14. VISITING HOURS: See Correctional Facilities section on the home page (www.doc.la.gov) for visiting hours at a specific facility.

15. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Some DPS&C facilities have public transportation available to the facility. Information is provided at the facility to the offender population if public transportation is available.  There may be a cost for use of this transportation and the DPS&C does not endorse or claim any liability for the use of the transportation provider. The visitor may contact the offender they wish to visit to obtain specific information regarding any types of transportation that may be available to the facility where the offender is housed.

16. DIRECTIONS: Driving directions may be found under the name of the facility the visitor wishes to visit. See the Correctional Facility’s section of the home page (www.doc.la.gov).

17. TERMINATION OF VISITS: The Warden of the facility or staff designated by the Warden may terminate a visit at any time if they believe that ending the visit is in the best interest of the safety and security of the facility or the persons involved.

18. OTHER SPECIFIC INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE OFFENDER OR FACILITY: Other permissible items, special visit procedures and availability of picnic visits.

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