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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 5120-9-15 | General visiting.


(A) Each institution shall compile and maintain an approved visitors list for each inmate.

(B) In general, visits by the inmate's immediate family: spouse, children, step-children, parents, step-parents, siblings, step- or half-siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents, grandchildren, current son-, daughter-, sister-, brother-, mother- and father-in law, aunts and uncles of the inmate shall be permitted. Adoptive and/or foster parents may be considered within this definition when it has been verified that the inmate was raised by this individual as a result of remarriage, death, desertion or absence of a parent. Such family members may be denied visiting privileges pursuant to the reasons listed in paragraph (C) of this rule. Friends may be placed on the approved visitor list. All visitors must complete application procedures as required by the department. No institution shall deviate from this paragraph without written authorization from the director.

(C) Applications for visitation may be denied for reasons including but not limited to the following:

(1) The applicant's presence in the institution could reasonably pose a threat to the institution's security, or disrupt the orderly operations of the institution, or

(2) The applicant has a past record of disruptive conduct, or

(3) The applicant was a co-defendant in any case the inmate is serving a criminal sentence for, or

(4) The applicant will not have a positive effect on the inmate's attitude, behavior, or overall adjustment.

(5) The applicant is under the supervision of a correctional authority and does not have the written permission of both the warden and the applicant's supervising authority, or

(6) The applicant has a prior felony conviction, or

(7) The applicant is a current or past department employee, volunteer, or independent contractor and has not received written authorization from the warden, or

(8) The applicant was a victim of the inmate's crime either under the current incarceration or any other previous incarceration(s) and does not have written authorization from the warden, or

(9) The applicant submitted false or incomplete information on their application, or

(D) Family members with prior felony criminal convictions may apply for visiting privileges. A family member or applicant who is under the supervision of the adult parole authority must have written permission from their parole or probation officer and approval from the warden in order to visit.

(E) An inmate may request that a certain person be placed on, or deleted from, his or her approved visiting list. The request must be in writing, addressed to the warden or designee, and contain the visitor's name, address and relation to the inmate, and reason for the request. The decision on the request and the reasons for any denial thereof, shall be communicated to the inmate in writing.

(F) Inmates may request that an individual be granted a special visit. The visit may be granted by the warden or designee. The request must be in writing, addressed to the warden or designee, and contain the desired visitor's name, address, relation to the inmate, and reason that a special visit is being requested. The decision on the request, and the reasons for any denial thereof, shall be communicated to the inmate in writing.

(G) Tentatively approved visitors shall be interviewed prior to their first visit with the inmate by a person designated by the warden or designee for the purpose of verifying identification. During this interview, the visitor shall be apprised of institutional regulations, particularly state law concerning the introduction of unlawful contraband into a correctional institution. Only after completing this interview may a person be placed on an inmate's approved visiting list.

(H) Approved visitors may be excluded from visiting when they act in violation of established visiting rules, and/or there is a reason to believe that their presence would pose a security risk, or be disruptive to the institution or to the inmate's adjustment. Such exclusions may range from denial of visiting for that day, termination of a current visit, suspension of visiting privileges for a specified period of time or an indefinite period of time. Any denial or termination of a visit must be approved by the warden or designee. Only the warden can suspend further visits. In these cases the warden shall provide written notice to the inmate and the suspended visitor. Suspended visitors shall be afforded the opportunity to present their views concerning such suspension. Suspended visitors may be required to reapply to the warden for a reinstatement of the visiting privileges.

(I) Each institution has different physical facilities and programs. Therefore, the warden at each institution shall have broad discretion in regulating the following: the number of visitors allowed to visit an inmate at any one time; the frequency, duration and priority of visits; the visiting hours. Guidelines for these factors will be established by the warden and may vary to accommodate interests of institutional security and orderly operations. Consideration shall be given to the distance visitors are required to travel in order to visit an inmate. Persons required to travel great distances may make arrangements in advance by letter or telephone with the warden or designee for extended or consecutive visits. Such arrangements shall not be unreasonably denied.

(J) Hospitalized inmates shall be allowed to receive approved visitors consistent with security requirements and with the consent of the medical authorities and the warden's approval.

(K) Clergy may be added to an inmate's approved visitor list as a clergy-of-record. All clergy must complete the application process including providing documentation of professional certification.

(L) A community organization volunteer that has partnered with the department to assist the offender in transitioning into the community may be added to an inmate's approved visitor list as a reentry mentor.

(M) Visiting may be restricted or suspended for the entire inmate population or particular segments of the inmate population due to overriding security concerns as determined and authorized by the warden. No such restriction or suspension of visiting may extend beyond twenty-four hours without authorization of the director or designee.

(N) Rules pertaining to visiting shall be posted in the visiting room and made readily available for general distribution to visitors and inmates.

Last updated January 10, 2024 at 3:57 PM

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 5120.01
Amplifies: 5120.36
Five Year Review Date: 1/24/2024
Prior Effective Dates: 4/5/1976, 10/30/1978, 8/18/1979, 7/20/1981, 10/11/1982, 5/15/2004