June 23

Felon Visitor Approval


Monday, March 5th, 2012 |

Every potential visitor at the Camp must fill out an application and be cleared by an inmate’s counselor before being approved for a visit.  The counselor runs a criminal background check on the visitor to verify that the person is not a felon.  The counselor notifies the inmate whether the visitor has been approved or not.  Felon visitor approval is a big issue because criminals seem to run with other criminals, and their family members may also be felons.

A guy came to me yesterday asking if he can appeal a visitation denial of a family member. Apparently, this family member had a criminal charge 30 years ago that showed up on the background check. The guy’s counselor would not approve his application on this basis.  This family member was approved as a visitor when he was at the Low.  It is up the individual institution to make these approvals. From what I have seen at the Camp, this administration routinely denies these requests.

They can deny visitation rights to ex-felons but the warden or camp administrator can approve such requests.  Denying someone with a criminal charge going back 30 years seems a little extreme.

There is another camper whose wife had caught the same charge as he did.  However, the judge did not sentence her to any prison time. She was also denied visitation at the Camp.  His wife appealed to their senator who made the call to Butner. Butner eventually approved the visitation request.

I have another friend here whose wife also caught the same charge as he did and she is incarcerated as well. He could talk to her when he was at another institution.  But, the Butner Camp will not allow them to have any telephone conversations. BOP likes to tout its family friendly policies as evidence of its concern for inmates’ families. Unfortunately, this is not true at the Butner Camp.  Go figure.



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