Visiting an Offender
Visitors play an important role in an offender’s successful re-entry into the community. We aim to make your visit to a state facility helpful and secure.
We also understand that traveling to visit an offender on-site can take a toll on a family’s time and finances, and provide video visitation opportunities in partnership with Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI), an independent organization that offers services for families of offenders.
You can find full details on our visitation policy in Operating Procedure 851.1.
Apply for Visitation
Submit a visitation application online if you are a new visitor or renewing your visitation privileges.
Renew Visitation Privileges
All visitor applications expire three years after the approval date. Submit a new, updated visitor application online at least 30 days before expiration for in-state visitors and 90 days before expiration for out-of-state visitors to continue uninterrupted visitation privileges.
If you would like to apply for a minor to visit an offender, their application must be attached to an adult application.
Complete the online visitation application and follow the prompts to add a minor. You can add more than one minor to your application.
Who You Can Visit
You will only be able to visit multiple offenders if they are your immediate family. According to Operating Procedure 851.1, immediate family members include the offender’s: parents, step parents, grandparents, lawful spouse, biological, step or legally adopted children, and biological, half, step, or legally adopted siblings. The corrections operations administrator decides on appeals regarding an individual’s status as immediate family. Visitors are limited to visiting one offender that is not an immediate family member.Non-immediate family members include: fiancés, girlfriends, boyfriends, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, in-laws, and neighbors.
If you need help completing an application to visit an offender, we encourage you to contact AFOI. They do not have access to information regarding your application once it has been submitted. For application status information, please contact our staff.
What to Bring
Once approved, you will need to bring at least one form of valid picture identification that matches the information on your application. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Driver’s License
- Military ID
- Other official picture ID issued by a federal or state agency
All institutions typically allow visiting on Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays, but visitation procedures at individual institutions may vary and can be changed at any time. Please contact the facility directly before planning a visit to obtain further information.
Find contact information in our facility directory.
All visitors, including children, will need to follow the dress code when visiting an offender. Please adhere to the guidelines below when visiting a facility:
- Cover from the neck to the kneecaps
- Include appropriate underwear
- Include footwear worn at all times
Attire Must Not:
- Be inappropriate in any way
This includes: tube tops, tank tops, or halter tops; clothes that expose your midriff, side, or back; mini-skirts, mini-dresses, shorts, skorts, or culottes (at or above the kneecap); form-fitting clothes like leotards, spandex, and leggings; see-through clothing; tops or dresses that have revealing necklines and/or excessive splits; clothing resembling offender clothing.
- Contain symbols or signs with inappropriate language or graphics
This includes gang symbols, racist comments, inflammatory communications, etc.
- Include watches and all wearable technology (e.g. Google Glasses).
If your wardrobe is considered inappropriate, you will be referred to the administrative duty officer. The officer will then make the final decision on whether you are allowed to enter the visiting room.
We will conduct annual background checks on each visitor. If you were approved in the past, you are not necessarily guaranteed approval in the future.
We provide reasonable accommodation during visitation for those who are disabled. If you have a mobility impairment, please contact the facility before visiting to ensure accommodations are in place.
If you need to use a walker or wheelchair to access the visiting area, you will be required to use a VADOC-owned wheelchair for the visit. Specialized wheelchairs may be allowed after a reasonable search, including chairs that are medically required for a visitor without use of their extremities and/or those who are unable to stand.
Service or guide animals may be permitted in the visitation area based on specific circumstances. Please submit a request to the facility to receive proper approval before your visit.
You can find more information in Operating Procedure 851.1.