Family Impact ,
Saturday, October 8th, 2011 |
I got my first visitors (my siblings) at the Camp! Christine is still tied up with her move into a new house so she could not make it. Visitation is huge for a family man like me. Here are my first impressions of visitation at the Camp:
Visitation from the Visitor’s Perspective
The visitation room at the Camp is in the lobby to the facility and space is very limited. They only allow three adult visitors (16 and over), but they do not limit the number of children. The parking lot is right in front of the facility so visitors can essentially walk in to sign-up.
Visitation at the Camp is very different from Low and much more low key. The Camp takes a lot less time to check-in since there are no metal detectors and bag checks. At the Low, a group of visitors had to be escorted to and from the prison reception area to the visitation room. This can take some time, and it was often that I would get to the visitation room before my visitors.
The visiting times at the Low was more extensive in some respects. Visitation at the Low was every other weekend rather than every weekend at the Camp. But, Low visitation was open to everyone on Thursday and Friday (both 2:30 to 8 pm), and every other Saturday, Sunday and Monday (8:30 to 3 pm). This was more convenient to visitors coming a long way for more visiting time. The locals like the weekday visitation availability at the Low, which is not available at the Camp.
Like the Low, the vending company fills the vending machines once a week so the good items go very quickly. I suggest buying everything you think you will need at the beginning of the visit. You can only bring in quarters. The bill exchange machines do not work.
Visitation Room Restrictions
Kevin with his siblings
Both places are restrictive on visitors’ clothing. You essentially cannot wear anything that is strapless, show cleavage, too short shorts/skirts, and anything that is too tight. They will turn you away, which is the real bummer.
In addition, they allow very modest touching and kissing. Kisses and hugs are allowed at the beginning and end of each visits. You must be very discreet in holding each other during the visit. In both places, there is a CO that has a full view of the room so any inappropriate behavior will probably get noticed.
You cannot sit outside at the Camp, but can at the Low after the initial count and before dark.
In regards to contraband, don’t even try! You may lose visiting privileges for a very long time, maybe even permanently. It’s not worth anything that you can think of bringing in. The Low has cameras and I’m told that they review the tapes.
Visitation from the Camper’s Perspective
The residential units are a lot closer to the visitation center so it takes less time for the inmates to get into the visitation room than at the Low. The camper check-in is only a pat down at the beginning and end of the visit. At the Low, it was a pat down at the beginning of the visit and a complete strip search at the end of the visit (i.e. all stitch of clothes had to be removed).
For the inmate, it is also a lot easier in the visitation room. You have more freedom of movement in the room. Inmates are still subject to the counts. They are done in the visitation area, but out of sight from the visitors.
Inmates really enjoy the visits and are energized afterwards. A lot of guys get no visitors, or very few, so these are real treats. Enjoy the visits and be cool.