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What are Contact Visits in Texas Prisons?

Contact visits for Texas inmates are face-to-face meetings between inmates and their loved ones without physical barriers, allowing for limited physical contact. In Texas, both jails and prisons have specific rules and regulations governing contact visits, including eligibility criteria, scheduling, and procedures.

Eligibility for Contact Visits for Texas Prison Inmates

Inmate Classification and Behavior

Inmates must be classified as minimum or medium custody and maintain a good disciplinary record. Inmates with disciplinary infractions or a history of violence may be denied contact visits.

Visitor Approval Process

Visitors must be approved by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) before being allowed to make visitation information and participate in contact visits. This involves submitting a visitation application and undergoing a background check. Only approved visitors, such as immediate family members and close friends, will be allowed to participate in contact visits for Texas inmates.

Are Conjugal Visits Allowed in Texas?

Conjugal visits, also known as extended family visits or private family visits, are visits that allow inmates in prison to spend time with their spouses or significant others in a private, home-like setting. These visits are typically unsupervised and can last for several hours or even days, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific rules governing the visits.

Current Status of Conjugal Visits in Texas Prisons

As of now, Texas does not allow conjugal visits for inmates in its state prisons. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has consistently maintained a policy against allowing these visits, citing concerns over safety, security, and costs associated with implementing such a program.

Procedures for Contact Visits in Texas Prisons

Scheduling Contact Visits

Once a visitor has been approved, they must schedule their contact visit. Contact visits for Texas inmates in prison are typically held on weekends and holidays, with a limited number of slots available. It is essential to schedule your visit in advance to ensure a spot.

Rules and Regulations for Contact Visits for Texas Inmates

During contact visits, both the visitor and the inmate must follow strict rules to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved. These rules may include:

  • Dress code requirements for visitors

  • Restrictions on items brought into the visitation area

  • Limited physical contact, such as brief hugs and handshakes

Violating these rules may result in the termination of the visit or loss of contact visitation privileges.

Are conjugal visits allowed for Texas inmates?

No, conjugal visits are not allowed for Texas inmates. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) does not permit conjugal visits, which are private visits between an inmate and their spouse, typically for the purpose of maintaining intimate relationships. In Texas, only contact visits are allowed, and these visits have strict rules and limitations, including restrictions on physical contact and online video visitation.

Do Texas inmates ever get privacy with visitors?

In Texas, inmates do not get privacy with visitors during regular visits, including contact visits. Visits are closely monitored by correctional staff to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved. In contact visits, there may be limited physical contact allowed, such as brief hugs and handshakes, but there is no privacy provided for inmates and their visitors. This restriction is in place to prevent contraband exchange and other security risks associated with private visits.

Were conjugal visits ever allowed for Texas inmates?

Conjugal visits were never allowed for Texas inmates. TDCJ has not permitted conjugal visits in its history. Texas only allows contact visits, which are face-to-face meetings between inmates and their loved ones without physical barriers, but with strict rules and limitations for special visits, including restrictions on physical contact. The rationale behind not allowing conjugal visits in Texas, as in many other states, includes concerns about security risks, potential contraband exchange, and the cost of maintaining facilities and staff for such visits.

What states allow conjugal visits?

Only a few states in the United States allow conjugal visits, also known as extended family visits or private family visits. These states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • Washington

It is essential to note that policies regarding conjugal visits may change over time, and each state may have its specific eligibility requirements and regulations. Before planning a conjugal visit, check the most recent policies and guidelines provided by the respective state’s department of corrections.

What type of items can visitors bring for Texas inmates?

Visitors are generally not allowed to bring items directly to inmates during visits at Texas correctional facilities. However, there are specific items that may be allowed in the visitation area for the visitors’ use during the visit. These prohibited items may include:

  • A small wallet or clear plastic bag containing identification, car keys, and a small amount of cash or coins for vending machines, if available.
  • Necessary medications, such as asthma inhalers, nitroglycerin tablets, or EpiPens, in their original containers, with prior approval from the facility.
  • Baby care items for visitors with infants, such as diapers, wipes, and a baby bottle, in a clear plastic bag. The items should be the minimum necessary for the visit’s duration.

It is crucial to check the specific rules and regulations for the jail or prison you plan to visit, as each facility may have its guidelines regarding items allowed during visitation.

Most Texas correctional facilities have a commissary system, where friends and family members can deposit money into an inmate’s account, allowing the inmate to purchase approved items such as food, personal hygiene products, and stationery.

texas inmate visitation

FAQs: Texas Inmate Visitation

A contact visit is a face-to-face meeting between an inmate and an approved visitor without physical barriers, allowing for limited physical contact.

You must submit a visitation application and undergo a background check by the TDCJ. Only immediate family members and close friends may be approved for contact visits.

Contact visits are typically held on weekends and holidays, with a limited number of slots available.

No, only inmates classified as minimum or medium custody and with a good disciplinary record are eligible for contact visits.

Rules for contact visits may include dress code requirements, restrictions on items brought into the visitation area, and limits on physical contact between inmates and visitors.

Violating contact visit rules may result in the termination of the visit or loss of contact visitation privileges.

Once you are an approved visitor, you must schedule your contact visit in advance, typically through the prison’s visitation office.

Yes, contact visits can be denied for various reasons, such as the inmate’s disciplinary record, visitor background check results, or if visitation rules are violated.

If you believe your visitation rights have been violated, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you understand and assert your rights.

Call Varghese Summersett today at 817-203-2220 or contact us online for expert legal assistance regarding visitation rights and procedures.

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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