The Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office permits inmates to have visits with family, friends, and their attorneys under conditions that are consistent with the security of the facility.
It is in the penological interest of this detention facility to provide reasonable and necessary security and safety standards, control, supervision, and oversight of inmates while confined to this facility.
The Jail Administrator is responsible for the operation of the visiting program. Visiting regulations include regular scheduling of visits at times that assure reasonable access to inmates by family, friends, and others in the community. The Jail Administrator will establish limits to the number and length of visit appropriate to the size of the visiting area and other relevant factors. Attorney visits may be scheduled separately. Notice is given to both visitors and inmates of contraband restrictions and visiting regulations, including procedures for obtaining approval for family members, friends, and others to visit. This information is included in the facility’s orientation program.
Each inmate submits a list of possible visitors. Other prospective visitors may be subject to an approval inquiry at the discretion of the Jail Administrator designee. The shift supervisor may authorize, for good cause, emergency visits beyond or in addition to normal visiting hours. S.C.S.D. staff approves other persons for an inmate’s visiting list in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Persons under the age of 18 may visit only when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- Persons on active probation or parole or other forms of conditional release [including but not limited to furlough or work release] ordinarily will not be approved; in compelling cases, such as immediate family members, the individual involved must obtain the permission of both the agency supervising such conditional release and the Sheriff or his designee prior to being allowed to visit.
- Persons with criminal records will not be automatically excluded from visiting but must be approved by the Sheriff or designee; the nature and extent of an individual’s criminal record, supervision status, and history of recent criminal activity, will be weighed against the benefits of visitation in determining eligibility.
- Persons believed by substantial evidence to have a potentially detrimental effect on the inmate or to constitute a threat to the security of the facility will be excluded from an approved visiting list.
Denial or Termination of a Visit:
A visit may be denied or terminated and visiting privileges suspended under the following circumstances:
- Visitors under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Refusal by a visitor to submit to search procedures;
- Refusal or failure to produce sufficient identification for purposes of registration, or the falsifying of identifying information by a visitor;
- Violation of institutional rules by a visitor;
- Violation of institutional rules by an inmate, following the disciplinary process;
- Failure to prevent children from disturbing other persons in the visiting area;
- Inappropriate display of affection, suggestive activity, or inappropriate dress; &/or
- Other conduct or conditions deemed by the shift supervisor and or Jail Administrator to be disruptive to visiting operations or to security and good order.
A full report on any such incident will be submitted by the shift supervisor to the Jail Administrator and, if appropriate, an incident report will be filed against the inmate involved.When an individual is not approved, notice of and reasons for the exclusion will be given to the inmate who submitted the individual’s name. The inmate may appeal the decision to the Jail Administrator through the grievance procedure. Special visits of unapproved visitors, extended visits, or visits on non visiting days may be approved by the Jail Administrator for compelling reasons and will be documented in the central file.
A sign will be posted at the visitation entrance stating institutional rules and search policy for visitors. Before visiting, visitors must first register and be submitted to a search. Visitors, who refuse registration, consent to search, or any violation of posted institutional rules may be denied admission. If there is reasonable suspicion that the person is carrying contraband, a further consensual search may be undertaken. Strip search of a visitor is based on a probable cause standard, and will include approval by a supervisor, unless exigent circumstances exist.Inmates are subject to a visual body search before and after all visits. The Jail Administrator or designee may establish limits on the items that may be taken into the visiting room
Inmates are allowed at least one  visitation period per week of at least forty five  minutes duration. Visits for days other than the scheduled days and times will be approved by the Jail Administrator or his designee.
Visiting will be supervised by staff at all times. Visiting, according to the Visitation Schedule above, will be at such determined times and for duration’s that permit equitable distribution of visitation resources. Space in the visiting area will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The shift supervisor may extend visits by reason of distance traveled, past infrequent visits, or other compelling reasons.
A visiting area will be available to ensure privileged communications between inmates and their attorneys; however, the area used for these visits should still be subject to general staff supervision. Each attorney requesting to see an inmate must be identified through bar card and picture identification. The inmate may refuse to see any attorney. Any documents to be submitted by an attorney for an inmate, may first be submitted to an officer at the request of the Jail Administrator, and is to be handled as legal mail.
Special Housing Cases:
Visits for inmates in locked units will be under procedures established by S.C.S.D.. If past experience indicates that the inmate is prone to violence or disruptive behavior in the visiting area, then the visit may be disallowed. Visits for inmates in medical status requiring isolation will require the approval of the Jail Administrator.
Under normal circumstances, inmates will not be allowed contact visitations. Under extreme circumstances contact visits may be considered on a case by case basis by the Jail Administrator. Any contact visit allowed by the Jail Administrator requires direct supervision by an officer on a one-on-one basis. Visitors will be searched according to the standards above entitled Searches.
In instances where a death has occurred in an inmate’s immediate family, the Jail Administrator may make an exception to the normal Visitation Schedule as outlined above. The Jail Administrator may deny such visits when the inmate is being denied visitation privileges do to a violation of facility rules.
Visiting area staff will maintain a record of all approved visitors and will document all visits as to date, person visiting, time visited, and any unusual incidents. Limitations may be imposed on the number of visitors who may visit an inmate at one time to prevent crowding in the visiting room or to eliminate difficulties in supervising the visit. The number of visitors an inmate may receive and the length of visits will be limited only by the facility’s schedule, space, and personnel requirements.