Within the first three years following a release from prison or jail, two out of three people find themselves back behind bars. Having a loved one incarcerated can be challenging to deal with, especially when it means finding ways to connect with them and maintain relationships.

It leads you to ask how to get approved to visit an inmate? Below you’ll find a guide that will help you visit an inmate and make the time spent apart a bit easier to manage.

Find The Inmate

When requesting inmate visitation, the first thing you need to do is find out where your loved one is. One day they could be in the county jail, and overnight they’re transported to the prison.

If you don’t know where an inmate is, the first thing to do is use the online resources in your area. Most websites have an online database that the public can use to find someone.

If you’re still unable to find them call the prison or jail, and someone will provide you with the information you need.

Get Approval

There are several tips for visitations, but the most important one is to get approval. If you don’t have inmate visitation approval, you’re not allowed to see them during visitation hours.

You will need to fill out a visitation approval form and send it to the place where your inmate is incarcerated. Once the approval form has been received, the prison or jail staff will review it before providing you with an acceptance or rejection.

If approved, you’ll then be listed on the inmate’s visitation list and can begin to visit.

Prepare Yourself

If you’ve received approval to visit your inmate, the next thing you need to do is prepare yourself for the visits. Go online or call the prison and set up a visitation appointment.

They’ll provide you with a timeslot and tell you when you should arrive for visitation. Once you’ve done this, take some time to review the rules and regulations of the prison or jail.

If you don’t do this and break one of the rules, you won’t be granted visitation. This means your visitation timeslot will be canceled.

If you fail to abide by the rules more than once, you may be banned from visiting that facility again. If you’re not able to find the visitation rules online, call the facility and ask them the dos and don’ts of visiting an inmate.


After you’ve done all the things listed above, it’s time to get in the car and go. It’s best to arrive a couple of minutes before your scheduled visitation because it will give you time to get checked in and undergo a search by prison staff.

It also ensures you have time to make any changes or run back to your vehicle if you’ve done something like forget your identification in the car.

How To Get Approved To Visit An Inmate?

We’ve answered the question of how to get approved to visit an inmate. You’ve got to fill out the visitation form and from there wait to get approval and be added to the inmate visitation list.

Before you begin filling out your visitation form, check out some of the other posts we’ve created related to this topic and more.