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Inmate Contact – Visitation Policy
|While the courts have indicated that there may be some limited right to visitation, such right can be restricted or denied based on legitimate government interests related to the safe, orderly, and secure operation of the facility; to prevent continued criminal activities; or other similar concerns. In such cases where visitation has been restricted and/or denied, alternative means of communicating with family and friends may be established via correspondence through the U.S. Mail and/or via the use of the inmate telephone system as may be appropriate.
Generally, an inmate detained in the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Detention Facility (jail) is granted Two (2) 30 minute visitation time slots per week, as available, unless such privilege has been restricted as noted above. To provide the inmate with an opportunity to visit with friends and relatives as well as maintain a safe and secure environment.
I. Visitation Sign up.
A. Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Detention Facility utilizes a Video visitation system for all general inmate visits with friends and relatives, in order to schedule a visit, friends and relatives should contact Lattice Customer service at (904) 497-4707 or via the internet at http://126.96.36.199/NetVisitScheduler/Login to create an account and start scheduling visits.
II. VISITATION RULES
A. Times selected for visits. Except in cases where an inmate has some form of mental disability and comprehension, Deputies will not intervene in the visitation scheduling, in such special cases Deputies will make every effort to assist inmates with informing relatives of the visitation process in order for these inmates to conduct Video visits.
B. Visitors should be present at the jail at least thirty (15) minutes prior to the scheduled visit to Check-in. Visitors arriving late run the risk of not being able to check in via the electronic check in kiosk, located in the lobby of the Main Jail (950 California Ave) visits will start at the pre-determined time slot, arriving late does not constitute reason for rescheduling a visit and will count as one (1) of the allotted two (2) weekly visits.
D. All visitors, with the exception of small children, must have a picture identification (i.e. a driver’s license or state identification card) and be signed up through Lattice as a registered approved visitor, any person found to be in the visitation area during a scheduled approved visit who is not signed up will be removed and the approved visitor will have visitation privileges revoked.
E. All visitors are expected to act in an orderly manner and that they are to dress appropriately. All visitors are to be dressed appropriately, including wearing appropriate footwear. Visitors who appear without shoes and/or dressed inappropriately will be prohibited from visiting. Inappropriate attire is defined as (but not limited to) the following: Clothing exposing breasts; cleavage; buttocks or genitalia; shorts, skirts, or dresses shorter than mid thigh; bare midriffs; sheer (see-through) clothing and/or clothing that allows undergarments to be seen or exposed; any other clothing of an inappropriate nature. Male and female visitors found deliberately exposing his/her chest; breasts; or genitalia to others, will at a minimum be removed from the visiting area with all future visits denied; and where appropriate, criminal charges will be sought and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
E. Visitors who appear under the influence; act in a disorderly manner; verbally or physically threaten officers and staff; attempt to furnish contraband; attempt to rescue a prisoner(s) and/or aid in an escape; carry a firearm and/or a concealed pistol; willfully damage jail fixtures; or commit violations of the criminal codes of the State of South Carolina while on jail property are subject to arrest and prosecution for such violations.
F. Visits by children are limited as follows:
1. Visitation by children is limited to immediate family i.e. sons; daughters; grandchildren; brothers; and sisters. Nieces; nephews; and others are not permitted.
2. Only two children are permitted to visit without prior approval at any given time.
3. Children count as one of the two approved visitors per visiting slot.
4. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and such person is to be responsible for staying with the child/children and ensuring that appropriate levels of supervision and behavior are maintained.
5. Such visits shall not be in violation of court orders, and all court orders will be enforced.
6. For the purposes of this policy a child is anyone under eighteen (18) years of age.
G. All Visitors are subject to search. Generally, all visitors to the facility are subject to a metal detector search and/or pat-down search of the visitor’s person. All metal objects; keys; knives; nail files; and other objects that can readily be used as a weapon are prohibited from entering the facility. In the event that such items are discovered, the visitor will be requested to return the items to his/her vehicle where they are to be secured. As a rule, strip searches are not authorized for visitors, except as follows:
1. During a search using the metal detector and/or pat-down search, a weapon is discovered. Based on probable suspicion/belief that other weapons may exist, a strip search may be conducted in conjunction with an arrest.
2. During the initial pat-down search, it is discovered that a person has illegal drugs in his/her possession, then based on probable suspicion/belief that other drugs may exist, a strip search may be conducted in conjunction with an arrest.
3. In conjunction with a search warrant based on probable cause as issued by the court.
4. If drugs and/or weapons are detected in handbags; briefcases; and/or in other items carried by the visitor(s), then a strip search based on probable suspicion/belief that other such items may exist may be conducted in conjunction with an arrest.
5. If a visitor is caught in the act of “dropping off” drugs or weapons to an inmate, then a strip search may be conducted in conjunction with an arrest based on probable suspicion/belief that other items may exist.
6. Should a visitor refuse to submit to a search whether by metal detector and/or a physical “pat-down” search, such refusal shall be sufficient grounds to terminate their visitation privilege, and such privilege shall not be restored unless the visitor appeals to the Director and/or his designee and provides sufficient reason as to why his/her privileges shall not be suspended permanently. The decision of the Director in such cases is final.
H. The following shall be basis for termination and/or refusal for visits:
1. Security concerns
2. Failure to produce identification
3. Disruptive/disorderly behavior
4. Not on the inmate’s approved visitor’s list
5. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications
6. Refusal to submit to a search
7. Use of profanity
8. Lack of available space
9. Failure to conform to the required dress standards
10.Violation of existing court orders
11.Visitor found to be in violation of the state’s criminal laws
12.Visitor arrived late
13.Failure to cooperate and/or abide by the officer’s instructions
14.Visitation has been cancelled due to overriding facility concerns
15.Inmate to be visited has had his visitation privileges suspended
16. Inmate to be visited is acting inappropriately either prior to and/or during the scheduled visit requiring it to be terminated
17. The inmate is unavailable due to court appearance; unscheduled medical appointment; and/or other valid reason
18. Other matters related to the secure and orderly operation of the facility
I. Visitors are reminded that those persons found in violation of applicable local; state; and/or federal criminal laws are subject to arrest, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
J. Visitors are generally not permitted to leave anything for an inmate except money deposited into the Kiosk located in the public lobby during the scheduled visit. The exceptions to this rule are as follows:
1. Upon prior approval, an inmate may have his/her clothing exchanged for another set of clean clothing, provided such clothing has not been seized as evidence in a crime. However, no exchange will take place sooner than 48 hours from the time of the individual’s entry into the jail. If an inmate is in transient between facilities and clothing is not needed for a jury trial, such clothing will not be exchanged.
2. Clothing may be brought to the jail (Annex I-the court holding facility) for the inmate to wear on the day of court, provided the inmate is scheduled for a “jury trial,” and the court has so advised the jail. Inmates making initial appearance for bond; motion hearings; and/or to enter pleas shall wear clothing as issued by the jail.
3. Family members may drop off “empty” prescription medication bottles for the inmate’s
** Exceptions may be made at the medical directors discretion in rare situations but will be handled on a case by case basis when specialty or non-routine medication is prescribed**
a. The prescription has been prescribed by a regular physician for the inmate.
b. The prescription is currently valid
c. The jail physician and the pharmacist will review and approved the continued use of the medication.
d. Use of the medication, if approved, will not adversely affect the inmate’s health due to his current physical condition.
e. Family members may not leave cigarettes; food; drinks; books; postage stamps; writing materials; and/ or other items. All such items are available for sale at the jail’s canteen. Books; Bibles; various religious materials; and magazines are available in the jail’s library and/ or may be ordered through the mail or parcel delivery from the publisher.
III. Scheduling Visits
To schedule inmate visits please visit the website listed below:
http://188.8.131.52/NetVisitScheduler/Login or call (904) 497-4707 (Lattice Customer care)
IV. Professional, Attorney and Law Enforcement Visitors
a. Visits by law enforcement officers in their official duties will be permitted at any reasonable time.
b. Professional visitors will be permitted between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm Monday through Friday after prior approval by the Director or his/ her designee on a case by case basis concerning the reason/need for the visit.
c. Attorney visitors (Inmates with State and or Local charges) will be permitted between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm Monday through Friday providing the attorney is a member of the legal profession admitted to the South Carolina bar and retained by an offender or appointed to an offender by a court for legal representation and provides a valid ID and a valid SC Bar card.
d. Attorney visitors (Federal Inmates) will be permitted between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm Monday through Friday providing the attorney has prior approval from the United States Marshal service and provides a valid ID and a valid Bar card
e. All visits are based on the availability of visiting space; whether the inmate is physically available; the visit does not interfere with scheduled medical appointments; court appearances; and/or other scheduled activities or unless there are overriding reasons not to permit such visits based on safety; security; and/or other legitimate concerns. To assist the facility in making sure that visiting space is available and to help eliminate any unnecessary delays and/or trips to the facility by the visitor, it is requested that professional visits should be scheduled in advance through the Director’s Office. The facility reserves the right to restrict such visits to non-contact visits as determined to be appropriate by the jail staff. Professional and Attorney visitors who may have family members present in the facility are not to abuse their privilege as a professional/ Attorney visitor and attempt to circumvent the normal visitation policy by using their special status. Persons found in violation will have such privilege/status suspended.
Frequently, requests are made to allow inmates to visit hospitalized family members. As a general rule, such requests are not honored, except under very limited circumstances. While the jail staff attempts to be empathetic to inmates and their families, the jail has a greater duty to the citizens and public that they serve. As with any transport outside the confines of the jail, there are inherent risks. The risks include the potential for escape by the inmate; the possibility that someone will attack the inmate; the possibility that someone will attack the escorting officer(s); the possibility that citizens/bystanders may be indirectly exposed to inappropriate behavior and/or possible injury should an incident occur; the potential for disruptions to the hospital staff and other patients; increased stress to the patient being visited; etc. As a result, visits to the hospital are restricted to situations where the potential death of an immediate family member is imminent, with the following stipulations:
A. Security is the overriding factor, and thus, even though a family member may be critically ill, such visit can be denied to ensure public safety.
B. Such visits are scheduled only with the approval of the attending physician and hospital staff.
C. All such visits are unannounced and scheduled only as officers and staff are available.
D. Inmates will be dressed in transport clothing and in full restraints. Restraints will not be removed nor civilian attire approved.
E. Such visits, if approved by the Director, will be limited to no more than fifteen (15) minutes.
F. Immediate family members are defined as follows: Spouse; children; parents; grandparents; brothers; and sisters only without exception.
VII. Requests to Visit Hospitalized Inmates
VIII. Requests for Inmates to Attend Funerals – Family Visitation
A. Occasionally, requests are made for inmates to attend funerals. Due to the following, all such requests are denied:
1. Safety and security concerns related to the inmate; the officers; and the public.
2. Potential for escape.
3. Potential for officers to be injured.
4. Potential for injury to members of the public.
5. Prior to stopping the practice of escorting inmates to funerals in the mid to late 90’s, situations developed whereby family members attempted to physically separate the officer and inmate from each other; attempted to intimidate the officer into allowing the inmate to sit with the family; inmates physically fell to the floor and refused to get up; inmates although allowed to dress in civilian clothing were required to wear restraints, but upon arriving at the services, refused to get out of the car, demanding that the restraints be removed as well, resulting in a disruption of the services; inmate attempted to “climb” into the casket with the deceased; officers have been “cursed” and racial epithets used; etc.
6. Transporting officers in other jurisdictions have been seriously injured and killed performing such duties.
B. However, in the event of such death, the facility will attempt to accommodate the family’s period of grief as follows:
1. Family members may come to the jail and notify the inmate as to the family member’s death. Such notification will be permitted to take place as privately as possible within the facility’s capabilities. However, such notification as with all other visitation is non-contact in nature.
2. Providing there are no overriding security issues, the inmate will be permitted to view the deceased family member’s body under escort by officers of the facility under the following conditions:
a. The deceased individual has to be an immediate family member: Spouse; child; parent; grandparent; or grandchild. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and/or other family members are not considered immediate family members for this policy.
b. The time of the viewing will be coordinated with the mortuary staff when other family members are not present.
c. The inmate will be dressed in orange transport clothing and fully restrained.
d. The viewing will be limited to no more than fifteen (15) minutes or less as circumstances dictate.
e. Such accommodation is restricted only to local inmates and their families. Inmates will not be transported outside of Spartanburg County for this purpose.
f. Ministers may visit the inmate at the facility to help comfort him/her in his/her time of need.
g. The Director reserves the right to not authorize such visits/viewing based on security issues and/or availability of staff and other resources.
IX. Visits With Other Inmates
Inmates housed in the facility are not permitted to visit other inmates outside of their own respective housing units for safety and security purposes. This same rule applies to inmates who are on home detention and/or those individuals out on bond who have co-defendants still housed in the facility.
X. Visits for Court Returns
From time to time, inmates are returned from the South Carolina Department of Corrections and/or other facilities to appear in court. As a general rule, such inmates will not be permitted visits during their stay in the jail and will be returned to their place of origin as soon as possible, unless such inmate is to be housed in the jail for an extended period of time. In such event, the inmate may schedule visits the same as any other inmate so housed, unless such privilege has been suspended.
As with any policy or directive, the visitation rules are subject to change without notice, and the Director and his staff reserves the right to change; amend; delete; or otherwise modify as needs and circumstances change. Should any part of this policy be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such determination does not invalidate other sections of the policy unless so stated by the court.