The Cole County Jail has implemented policies to formalize our Inmate Contact Visitation Program. As part of that program persons request to have contact visits with inmate are being required to complete an Application for Inmate Contact Visits. For regular visitors of the jail, the form will only be required to be completed once per year (During January), unless the jail has reason to believe a background check has changed since the application was last approved. The purpose of this fact sheet is to explain why we are requiring the application form be completed and signed.
The Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) requires that the Cole County Jail ensure that persons who have contact with inmates have not been adjudicated or committed sexual abuse to another person in the past, and that anyone who has contact with inmates is aware of the jail rules, especially related to PREA. This includes anyone who has contact with an inmate such as kitchen staff, medical staff, maintenance, program staff such as Alcoholics Anonymous, clergy, attorneys, and other persons requesting contact visits with inmates.
Missouri RSMo Chapter 221 authorizes and requires the Sheriff to maintain the welfare of inmates placed in custody of the Cole County Jail; and to establish necessary rules to maintain the safety and security of the jail, and maintain the welfare of the inmates in the custody of the jail.
In order to meet and document the requirements of PREA and associated Federal, State Laws, and department policy; the Inmate Contact Visitation Program has been developed. The foundation of that program is the Application for Inmate Contact Visits. The application documents the acknowledgement that the applicant is aware of the jail rules. A PREA related pamphlet will be handed out to contact visitors to help detail the PREA issues. The application also will be used to conduct the necessary background check to ensure visitors have not committed sexual abuse or other crimes in the past that would bar access to inmates. Criminal History Checks will not be maintained on file unless an application has been denied.
The application form also includes information that ensures contact visitors understand the inherent danger of entering a correctional facility, having contact with inmates, how the jail facility personnel will respond to emergency incidents in the jail or hostage situations.
Persons needing to visit with an inmate but who do not want to sign the application may do so through the Public Video Visitation Center during normally scheduled hours. After hours visit may be conducted through the public contact room at the Jail Booking Entrance commonly used by bond agents. Availability of video visitation time is subject to jail scheduling, and the Jail Booking Area is first come first serve. Time limits for these areas may be imposed to accommodate all people who need to interact with inmates.
Thank you for helping us maintain the safety and security of the Cole County Jail, and the welfare of the inmates in our care.
January 24, 2014