What to wear and not to wear when visiting a parent in prison

Believe it or not, prisons do have a dress code. While it may seem obvious, it’s not something many of us think about. Many of us only worry about our clothes when it comes to school, work, or a date, as visiting someone in prison may not be on that list. For many of us in America, it’s part of our life as we have loved ones incarcerated for some time. It’s important to know how to dress and what is appropriate for the prison.

To be honest, certain clothes or shoes can’t be worn. Many prisons will recommend against a specific color as well and won’t even allow you in if you’re wearing something wrong. Prison dress codes vary from location, so it’s very important to get a good look at what that specific prison allows with their dress code. Usually, there is a website, or even a quick call can get you that information that way you won’t be turned away on a visit as its important to both you and the person incarcerated. 

It’s important to note, that some of these are up to the interpretation of the guard on duty and you may be turned away if it’s not appropriate. Bring extra clothes to help alleviate this problem just in case so you won’t be denied visitation. 

Some examples you want to look for are:

  1. Flip-flops. While great for a summer stroll aren’t allowed in many prisons.
  2. Do not wear any color that matches those of the inmates. You’re a visitor, not an inmate.
  3. No camouflage clothing. You’re visiting an incarcerated loved one, not signing up for the military.
  4. Beware of your colors! Prisons are ripe with local gang members or even tied to those outside the prison complex. You want to remain neutral on this.
  5. Short and dresses are considered bad as well.
  6. Sleeveless shirts, halter tops, tank tops, revealing or low cut tops are also part of the rules.
  7. No clothing resembling staff clothing, medical scrubs, or any kind of uniform as this may present a security risk. 
  8. It’s not a good idea to wear jewelry as it can be restricted.

Keep in mind that you have a parent or loved one in prison and that visiting them is a privilege. You like everyone else has to follow the rules set by that specific prison. Also, be aware that you don’t have a lot of control over when you can see your loved one, but you can control what you wear on that specific visit. Do your due diligence and contact the prison for information. They’ll give you the information needed to visit go as smoothly as possible. 

While you aren’t in prison yourself, you share in this sentence. The separation may be hard, but each visit can prove great and easy-going by just following the rules. The guidelines may vary, but not difficult to follow. 

Editor. Prison Dress Code: What to Wear When Visiting a Loved One. January 19, 2015. https://prisonthehiddensentence.com/helpful-information/prison-dress-code/


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