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Visitor Identification & Search Procedures
Tuesday, February 10, 2009


ICE/ERO Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011
5.7 Visitation - V. Expected Practices
I. Visits by Family and Friends
3. Visitor Identification and Search Procedures

Staff shall verify each adult visitor’s identity before admitting him/her to the facility. No adult visitor may be admitted without government-issued photo identification. All visitors shall be subject to identification and personal search in accordance with standard “2.4 Facility Security and Control.”

The facility administrator may establish a procedure for random criminal background and warrant checks for the purpose of ensuring facility safety, security and good order. Visitors shall not be precluded from visiting a detainee solely because of a past conviction. Facilities can exclude visitors based on an examination of underlying conduct of the conviction.

Staff shall escort visitors to the visiting room only after completing identification and inspection as provided in the facility’s written procedures. All visitors are subject to a personal search, which may include a pat (“pat-down”) search as well as a visual inspection of purses, briefcases, packages and other containers. Written procedures shall be publicly available to inform visitors that they are subject to search procedures. Any person who refuses to be searched is prohibited from visiting a detainee.

In each facility, written procedures shall provide for the prevention, cancellation or termination of any visit that appears to pose a threat to safety, security and good order. Visiting area officers or other staff, who believe a situation poses such a threat, shall alert the shift supervisor or equivalent; the supervisor may then prevent, cancel or terminate the visit.

The inspecting officer may ask the visitor to open a purse, briefcase, package, and other container for visual inspection of its contents. If warranted, the officer may ask the visitor to remove the contents and place them on a table; however, the officer may not place his or her hands inside the container. Facilities shall provide and promote visitors' use of lockers or a secure area provided for safekeeping of personal belongings during visits.

Only an officer with the rank of supervisor or above may deny or cancel the visit. In those cases, the officer shall document his or her action in a memorandum sent through official channels to the facility administrator. The visiting room officer, with concurrence from the shift supervisor, may terminate visits involving inappropriate behavior.

Facilities shall not require approved visitor lists from ICE/ERO detainees.