Visiting a Prisoner
MARCH 13, 2020: MDOC HALTS ALL VISITS AT STATE PRISONS
The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) will cease in-person visiting of prisoners effective immediately for the safety of staff, prisoners and the public. This will also include outside volunteers and other tours and groups who routinely come into the prisons.
The Michigan Department of Corrections is committed to keeping the public and offenders under our supervision safe, and this includes taking steps to protect the health of prisoners and visitors.
In order to prevent the spread of illness, the MDOC may quarantine sick prisoners and suspend visiting hours and nonemergency prisoner transfers when cases of illness are present.
When a prisoner is showing symptoms of Influenza or other illness, they can be placed on quarantine status for a period of five to seven days and may be isolated from other healthy individuals. Prisoners with cases of Influenza are taken off quarantine status once they have completed their course of medication to fight the illness.
In addition, to help prevent or contain the spread of illness, steps are taken to thoroughly clean and disinfect housing units, common areas and restrooms.
An entire facility is placed on quarantine status and all visits are restricted once there are two confirmed cases of Influenza, or if determined by health care professionals to be necessary for other illnesses. Notices on the quarantine and restricted visits are posted at the entrance to the facility and other locations within the facility. The facility is removed from quarantine status once the prisoners are no longer contagious, have successfully completed treatment or been non-symptomatic for a period of time. The period of the quarantine can change depending on the illness.
Family members can also see notifications of visitation restrictions due to illness or visitation reinstatement by following the MDOC on Twitter (@MichiganDOC) or visiting the department’s Facebook page. These visitation restriction and reinstatement announcements are also released through advisories on Nixle, a community notification system that provides information through text message, email, voice messages, social media and the Nixle mobile app.
To sign up for free alerts, go to the prison directory and choose the page for the correctional facility in your area to register via the Nixle Widget, or text the zip code of the facility you would like to receive updates from to 888777.
The department will also update this page with any and all current facilities under quarantine status and what date the quarantine began
VISITATION INFORMATION LINKS:
The prisoner must complete a Visitor List form (CAJ-334) identifying immediate family members* and not more than 10 other potential visitors. Those persons the prisoner has placed on his/her visiting list must complete a Visiting Application (CAJ-103) to request approval to visit. The Visiting Application must be submitted in advance to allow for review of the Application. INCLUDING A SELF-ADDRESSED-STAMPED ENVELOPE WHEN THE APPLICATION IS RETURNED WILL ENSURE THAT THE PROPOSED VISITOR IS PROVIDED NOTIFICATION OF HIS/HER APPROVAL OR DENIAL TO VISIT. NO VISITS WILL BE ALLOWED WITHOUT THIS APPROVAL.
*Immediate Family Member: A grandparent, parent, stepparent, spouse, mother-in-law, father-in-law, child, step-child, grandchild, sibling, half-sibling, stepbrother, and stepsister. An aunt or uncle may be included if adequate verification is provided that they served as a surrogate parent. If there is inadequate documentation in the prisoner's file to confirm this relationship, the prisoner or family member will be required to provide the documentation necessary to adequately confirm the relationship.
A proposed visitor shall be approved for placement on the prisoner's approved visitors list if all of the following criteria are met:
The proposed visitor is not subject to a current visitor restriction.
The proposed visitor is not a prisoner or a former prisoner in any jurisdiction. However, prisoner or former prisoner who is an immediate family member may be placed on the prisoner's approved visitors list with prior approval of the Warden of the facility where the visit will occur.
The proposed visitor is not on parole or probation in any jurisdiction as a result of a felony conviction. However, a parolee or probationer who is an immediate family member may be placed on the prisoner's approved visitors list with prior approval of the Warden of the facility where the visit will occur and written approval of the supervising field agent.
The person is 18 years of age or older, an emancipated minor, or the minor child, stepchild, grandchild, sibling, step-sibling or half-sibling of the prisoner. However, a minor child, stepchild, grandchild, sibling, step-sibling or half-sibling of the prisoner shall not be approved for placement on the prisoner's approved visitors list under any of the following circumstances.
- The Department is notified that there is a court order prohibiting visits between the minor child and prisoner;
- The Department is notified that the parental rights of the prisoner for his/her child have been terminated;
- The prisoner has been convicted of child abuse, criminal sexual conduct or any other assaultive or violent behavior against the minor or sibling of the minor unless an exception has been granted by the Director upon request of the warden. The warden will be notified in writing if an exception is granted.
- The proposed visitor is not on another prisoner's approved visitors list except as an immediate family member. In other words, a visitor may be on the list of all prisoners who are immediate family members but only on the list of one prisoner who is not an immediate family member.
- If the proposed visitor is a Department employee, s/he may visit only as set forth in the Employee Handbook.
- If the proposed visitor is a volunteer, s/he may visit only as set forth in PD 03.02.105 - Volunteer Services and Programs.
Notwithstanding the above, the warden may deny placement of anyone on a prisoner's approved visitor list for the safety or security of the facility, protection of the public, previous violations of visiting room rules by the proposed visitor or for other reasonable cause as determined by the warden.
Clergy may visit during the prisoner's regular visiting hours. The MDOC defines clergy as:
Leaders of a religious organization or entity such as a church, mosque or synagogue, or persons who have been granted clergy status by a recognized religion and have ecclesiastical endorsement from a religious authority. This does not include anyone who is self-ordained or designated as clergy by a prisoner.
Members of the clergy are advised to call the facility to determine visiting hours. In special circumstances, a visit outside of regular visiting hours may be approved by the warden. This approval must be granted prior to the visit.
At the facility, the member of the clergy must present to the Information Desk officer a picture ID, such as a driver's license, and proof of clergy status. That documentation varies from faith group to faith group. This may be a letter of appointment to the congregation as their pastor or a copy of an ordination certificate or clergy license. Literature such as a worship bulletin or monthly newsletter that identifies the person as clergy may also be used.
For more information, please review PD 05.03.140 - Prisoner Visitation.