3 Things to Know Before Visiting a Florida Inmate
If you have a friend or a loved one in a Florida correctional facility, you might have some questions about what it’s like going to visit them. Visiting a correctional facility isn’t something most people do very often, so it might feel a bit intimidating. But taking the time to visit that friend or loved one can make a significant difference in their lives. Many times, receiving visitors and having that to look forward to is a critical factor in an inmate’s rehabilitation.
First, let’s review a couple of things that are important to know before you schedule for the first visit.
How to Prepare for Visiting a Florida Inmate
Before your visit, you — and anyone over the age of 12 — will need to fill out the Florida Visitation Application DC6-111A. This form is only available if the inmate requests it; the application isn’t available online. To view an old copy of what this form looks like, click here. After filling out this application, mail it to the Classification Department of the facility where the inmate you want to visit is being incarcerated. Typically, the approval process takes around 30 days. The inmate you’re visiting is responsible for telling you when it’s been approved and you’ve been cleared to come by.
When you arrive, you’ll be asked to provide a government-issued photo ID. Anyone age 17 and under must provide their birth certificate with their school ID and must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian — who also needs to be on the visitation list. You’ll be asked to walk through a metal detector upon arrival and understand that you, your belongings, and vehicle are all subject to being searched.
Rules for Visiting a Correctional Facility in Florida
When you’re visiting a Florida inmate, you’re only allowed to bring your ID, your car key (not your keychains), and $50 cash in small bills that can be used for the vending machines. You’re strictly not allowed to give the inmate anything, so don’t plan on bringing home-cooked meals. Under no circumstances can you bring tobacco, matches, or lighters to a correctional facility.
If you have a baby or toddler that you’re bringing, there are strict guidelines on what you’re able to bring with you. They include:
- Five diapers or less
- Three baby bottles that are clear and plastic
- Two sippy cups if you have a toddler
- One clear pacifier
- Three baby foods that are clear with intact seals
- Baby wipes in a plastic bag
When you’re visiting an inmate, you’re not allowed to speak to any other inmate except the individual you’re there to see. Bear in mind that visitation is considered a privilege – not a right. These privileges can be revoked if you attempt to break any of these rules or don’t behave accordingly.
How to Dress When Visiting Florida Inmates
The dress code is strictly enforced when visiting inmates at a correctional facility. A good rule of thumb is to dress plainly and modestly. Also, you shouldn’t attempt to resemble the inmates or staff working there – so you can’t wear military uniforms, or physician or nurse scrubs.
The following are other restrictions for what you’re not allowed to wear when visiting a Florida inmate:
- Anything with graphics images or offensive language
- Anything that exposes your midriff, cleavage, thighs, back, shoulders
- Clothes that are too tight or risqué – like tank tops, spandex, leggings, and fishnets.
- Shorts, dresses, or skirts higher than three inches above the knee
- Anything with a slit higher than three inches above the knee
The officers staffing the facility can deny your visit if they believe you failed to dress appropriately. So, it’s not uncommon that on one visit you’re allowed to wear something — but then on another, you’re not. It’s a good idea to bring with you a change of clothes to leave in your vehicle, in case you get denied.
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Central Florida
If your detained friend or loved one needs a criminal defense attorney, The Umansky Law Firm will advocate for them to negotiate the best possible result. As former state prosecutors, we have expert knowledge on know how Florida criminal law works and how the system will most likely handle each inmate’s case.
Our criminal defense results have been recognized by the media and the Central Florida community as one of the best. We have more than 100 years of combined experience fighting criminal cases and will fight for your detained loved one. Call us for a free case evaluation, or schedule one online at any time.