What are some obstacles that may arise while visiting their incarcerated parents? (Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visitors of Minnesota Inmates, Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting an Inmate in Minnesota)

Visiting an inmate in Minnesota comes with its own set of obstacles like every other state. Knowing what these are and how to deal with them can make a visit go smoother, thereby, making it more favorable for the inmate and the visitor. This not only adds to a healthy relationship with an inmate but has been proven to lower the recidivism rate. 

While these obstacles aren’t necessarily harmful, it helps to be prepared as visiting encourages inmates to not only better their lives, but it gives them something to look forward to. There is a lot of stigmas attached to visiting someone in prison, and many people don’t know where to start. While many states differ, here are some important notes to consider in Minnesota.

  1. You must fill out a Minnesota Inmate Visitors Application. There may be other forms needed to fill and sign no be prepared with proper documents and a wait of at least one of several weeks after submitting. 
  2. The Department of Corrections won’t inform you if the application was accepted or not, but the inmate will. Keep communication lines open with the inmate for information.
  3. Phone calls aren’t accepted, but you can stop by the nearest department of corrections with your ID and check on the status of an application.
  4. Regular visits are 1-2 hours for those traveling less than 100 miles. If traveling more, appointments may be granted at a 3-hour timeframe. 
  5. Bring a valid ID like a state ID, driver’s license, passport, or military ID. They must not be expired.
  6. All electronics are prohibited. As much as you may want to record a video of you and your loved one, it won’t be possible. Usually, your car key and ID are all you’ll be able to have on you.
  7. Another obstacle is that visitors are searched and must pass through a metal detector. Your vehicle may get search as well so be prepared for it.

While it may seem as there are a lot of obstacles, preparing for them ahead of time can and will make things go quickly. Minnesota’s facilities all have a dress code. While it may seem odd to have to dress a particular way, it exists to ensure the safety and security of the institution. The dress code is reasonably extensive, and I encourage you to visit: Visiting an Inmate in Minnesota for more details. 

Obstacles are part of life when wanting to visit an incarcerated parent. While the red-tape may seem to think and paperwork substantial, you’ll realize that it’s a necessity to visit. The welfare of a child and that of the incarcerated parent depends on these visits. Video visitations are offered as sometimes the drive is too long and maybe best for everyone as it is easier on the schedule. 

The Minnesota Department of Corrections does have a checklist here about what needs to be done and how to do it. Familiarize yourself with this page as necessary to ensure your next visit goes smoothly and successfully for all parties involved.

Prison Pro. Visiting an Inmate in Minnesota. http://www.prisonpro.com/content/visiting-inmate-minnesota

Minnesota Department of Corrections. Policy Number 302.100. My 15, 2018. http://www.doc.state.mn.us/DocPolicy2/html/DPW_Display_TOC.asp?Opt=302.100.htm


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