Visiting a Prisoner at Maine State Prison

  1. Introduction

It is the policy of the Maine Department of Corrections to permit prisoners to have visits with family, friends and professional visitors under conditions that are consistent with the safety, security, and orderly management of the facility.  The purpose of the Visitors Guide is to provide visitors with clear and sufficient information regarding visit procedures and visit rules in order to prevent conflict or confusion regarding our expectations and to ensure that the visitor has the best possible visit experience. There is information regarding directions, parking, check-in, property, etc. that will assist in answering some of your questions. 
We understand that visiting a maximum security prison can cause anxiety and uncertainty especially during those first few visits.  Our staff members are professional and are expected to be courteous and respectful at all times.  It is equally important that you treat our staff members with courtesy and respect.  We want your visits to be a pleasant experience and we will listen to your suggestions and concerns.  The Warden conducts open forums with visitors on a quarterly basis.  Your suggestions and concerns will be considered.  Visitor Comment Cards are also available in the Prison Lobby.  Contact the Lobby Officer for additional information.                      

  1. Application Process

No visitor except immediate family members shall be on more than one (1) prisoner’s visit list.
Immediate family includes spouse, natural, foster or adoptive mother, father, son, daughter, grandfather or grandmother, grandchild, brother or sister, or step-mother, step-father, step-son, step-daughter, step-grandfather or step-grandmother, step-grandchild or step-brother or step-sister.
Visitor Clearance Forms can be obtained from the prisoner that you wish to visit, from the Lobby Officer, Maine State Prison, or from the Maine State Prison Visits Website:

    • Fill out an WORD application only one name per application.
    • Make sure that you sign the application and return it Attention: Visits, Maine State Prison.

Clearances may take up to six (6) weeks for processing. It may take longer if an applicant has a criminal record.
Family members as defined above may be granted NON-CONTACT visits prior to being cleared for CONTACT visits.
A minor visitor must have an application completed on their behalf and must be accompanied at the visit by an immediate family member or legal guardian who is an adult.  An adult who is not an immediate family member or legal guardian may also be allowed to bring in a minor visitor with written permission of the parent(s) having legal custody or the legal guardian of the minor and with the prior approval of the Chief Administrative Officer.

  1. Directions and Transportation

The Maine State Prison is on Rte. 97, approximately 1 ¼ miles from Rte. 1 on the right.

Concord Trailways provides daily bus service to the Rockland Ferry Terminal from points north and points south of Rockland. The Ferry/Bus Terminal is located off Main Street, across from the Navigator Motel. Concord Trailways is approximately 8 miles north of the Prison via Rte. 1.

Local taxicab service is available from:

Rockland Yellow Cab- (207)596-3440

Schooner Bay Limo- (207)594-5000 or 542-2076

Joe’s Taxi- (207)975-3560 or 975-5637

  1. What to Expect
    1. Parking:  After driving up the driveway of the Maine State Prison, you will find the parking lot to your left. Visitors are to pull into the very first row of parking, and park on the left side of that row.  Unauthorized vehicles are not allowed past that first row of parking in the lot.  There are however handicap accessible spots closer to the main entrance for those who need it. All personal vehicles shall be locked prior to entering the facility. Children are not to be unattended at any time while on the premises, to include in the parking lot.
    2. Checking In:  After parking your vehicle in the appropriate area, you will proceed to the Main Entrance. Once inside the double doors you arrive in the Maine State Prison Lobby.  The Lobby Officer will be at the desk to check you in.  You will need appropriate photo identification and you will need to leave your keys as they are not allowed in the Visit Room.  There are lockers available in the Lobby for your use if you need to leave anything; please note, the lockers are operated by quarters.  After you have been checked in with the Lobby Officer, you may have a seat to wait being called for metal detectors/searching.
    3. Metal Detectors and Pat Searches:  All persons are subject to search prior to and as a condition for visiting.  This includes minor children.  Persons found to be trafficking contraband will be suspended from visiting and may face criminal prosecution.  Visitors will be required to pass through two metal detectors. Please be aware that some shoes, jewelry, belts etc, may set off the metal detectors, and those items will have to be removed in order for you to proceed.  If you are unable to pass through the detectors for any reason, i.e. medical implants, etc you will be asked to consent to a pat search as a condition of your entrance into the visit room.  Your consent to search is optional and you have the right to refuse at any time, however exercising that right may result in forfeiture of all visitation rights that day and in the future.
    4. Visit Room: After you have successfully passed through the metal detectors, and/or you have been searched, you will be escorted down to the visit room.  The Visit Officer will assign you a table to sit at.  An adult visitor must sit or be seated directly across from the prisoner.  The number of visitors allowed to visit a prisoner at any one time is three. Children under the age of four do not count as one of the three visitors. 

      Outer clothing/apparel is not allowed in the visit room. Sweaters are permitted; however, if worn into the visit room, they must remain on, and zipped/button if applicable, for the entire visit period. No articles of any kind will be permitted to be carried into the visit room.

      A restroom is available in the visit room for visitors only. Prisoners are not permitted to use the restroom in the Visit room.
    • Information about Children: Adults will accompany children at all times, and will be responsible for their behavior. Minor visitors will be required to present government issued identification such as a birth certificate prior to admittance into the facility. Each child will be allowed to go to the bookcase during the visit period, and bring books or toys back to their visiting table. Children must return directly to their table after selecting their books and toys. Adult visitors are responsible for picking up and returning books and toys to the bookcase. All children must be seated within the immediate vicinity of the parents or guardians.  They may not sit unsupervised. They may not climb on furniture or disturb other visitors in any way, which includes yelling, screaming or throwing things.

    • Photographs in the Visit Room: While personal cameras are not permitted, you may elect to have personal photographs taken in the visit room.  All personal photos will be taken in front of the backdrop provided. All adults and children must be in a standing position for all photographs. Infants may be held in an appropriate position by an adult. No inappropriate hand, body or facial gestures will be permitted. Holding hands in permitted, however no other physical contact will be permitted. All personal photos will be inspected and approved by the Visit Officer or Visit Supervisor. Any photograph determined inappropriate or non-allowable will be confiscated and delivered to the Warden’s Office with a report outlining the facts and circumstances for confiscating the photograph(s).  Please note however that the prisoner must have money available on his account for the photographs, as no other form of payment is accepted.
  1. Visit Times

Approved visitors will be permitted “walk-in visits” for prisoners with contact visit status.  A prisoner must be within his allotted number of visits per week.  Visitors/Prisoners may request the use of consecutive visit periods (Extended Visits) but all will be counted towards the allotted number for the prisoner.  The Shift Commander may also grant extended/extra visit for visitors traveling 150 miles or more one way and/ or when special circumstances justify an extended/extra visit, even if the prisoner has used his all allotted visit periods.

  1. Hours of Walk-In Visits:

    Note: Visitors that arrive more than one half hour after the visit period begins will not be permitted to visit and will be asked to return at the next available visiting period or a future visiting period.
    Thursday through Sunday
    8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    *6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    *Only for general population prisoners housed in the Close Custody Unit and Medium Custody Unit

  2. Scheduling of Non-Contact Visits

Approved visitors must pre-schedule visit appointments for prisoners with non-contact visit status. A prisoner must be within his allotted number of visits per week. Visit appointments must be made by telephone only. Visitors may telephone (207) 273-5302 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday only. Note: Visitors may no longer schedule visit appointments by email.

  1. Appropriate Attire

The following items are considered inappropriate attire for the Maine State Prison and will not be allowed:

    • Any clothing that reveals undergarments or cleavage.
    • Camouflage
    • Flip-flops and other open-toed footwear
    • Headgear of any kind, i.e. hats, bandanas etc
    • Hooded sweatshirts/shirts
    • Jackets or outer attire
    • Midriff-bearing shirts
    • Scarves
    • See through, mesh and fishnet articles
    • Shorts/skorts
    • Sleeveless shirts
    • Spandex, or other tight fitting clothing
    • Unbuttoned, or unzipped outer shirts

Skirts and dresses shall be no shorter than just above knee length.  Open back shoes are acceptable as long as a barrier (socks/nylons) is worn.
Sweaters are permitted as long as they are fully worn, with any zippers/buttons fastened.
Spandex like clothing may be worn underneath dresses/skirts.
Children shall also be appropriately attired.
Consider where you are visiting, failure to follow the appropriate attire directive may result in termination of your visit.

  1. Facility Rules
  • ALL VISITORS ARE SUBJECT TO SEARCH:  All persons are subject to search prior to and as a condition for visiting.  This includes minor children.  Persons found to be trafficking contraband will be suspended from visiting and may face criminal prosecution.
  • No person currently in service of a sentence will be permitted to visit. Ex-offenders must apply in writing to the Warden, one year after completion of their sentence before being allowed to visit.
  • Prisoners may be restricted to non-contact visitation as outlined in Department Policy 21.4.  This may include when a prisoner is found guilty of a disciplinary, drug, tobacco, or contraband violation.
  • Firearms and other weapons are not allowed on State Property.
  • Any visitor suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall not be permitted to visit any prisoner and shall be required to leave the facility property immediately.
  • Trafficking Contraband is a crime:

M.R.S.A. TITLE 17-A, SECTION 757
A person is guilty of TRAFFICKING IN PRISON CONTRABAND if:

    • That person intentionally conveys or attempts to convey contraband to any person in official custody; or,
    • Being a person in official custody, he intentionally makes, obtains, or possesses contraband.

Contraband, for the purpose of this section, is defined as a dangerous weapon, any tool or other thing that may be used to facilitate escape or any other thing that a person confined in official custody is prohibited by statute from making or possessing. Examples of contraband are: weapons, cutting blades, files, drugs, including marijuana, and alcohol. Punishment may include imprisonment for up to 5 years.

M.R.S.A. TITLE 17-A, SECTION 757-A
A person is guilty of TRAFFICKING OF TOBACCO in adult correctional facilities if:

    • That person intentionally conveys or attempts to convey tobacco or tobacco products to a person confined in an adult correctional facility that has banned the use of tobacco or tobacco products by prisoners; or
    • That person is confined in an adult correctional facility that has banned the use of tobacco or tobacco products by prisoners and the person intentionally obtains or possesses tobacco or tobacco products.

ALL MAINE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FACILITIES HAVE BANNED THE USE OF TOBACCO OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY PRISONERS.
Punishment may include imprisonment for up to 6 months.

  1. Visit Room Rules
    • Nothing will be passed between the visitor and prisoner.  
    • With contact visits, a visitor and prisoner may embrace or kiss briefly at the beginning and end of the visit.  Prisoners and visitors may hold hands during the remainder of the visit.  The hands of the prisoner and visitor must be visible at all times.  Unless otherwise restricted, prisoners may hold their minor children in their laps.
    • There shall be no profane or loud language.
    • Electronics are not allowed in the Visit Room.
    • Prisoners and visitors are not allowed to move around the visit room or converse with other prisoners.
    • Food, drinks, toys, candies and gum from the outside are not allowed in the visit room.  Clear baby bottles and clear training cups for infants and toddlers are permitted. Also allowed into the visit room for the care of infants and toddlers, is one diaper and a small amount of wipes.
    • Outer clothing/apparel is not allowed into the visit room.  Sweaters are permitted as long as they are fully worn, with any zippers/buttons fastened. Lockers are available in the Lobby to store items. 
    • The prisoner or visitor will carry no articles into the visit room.  No prisoner property or funds will be accepted by staff in connection with a visit.
    • All visitors are required to dress in a reasonable fashion to ensure the good order of the visiting room. Please refer to Appropriate Attire area of this guide for information. In instances where clothing worn by a visitor comes into question, the Visiting Sergeant or Shift Commander will make the determination if the visitor will be permitted to visit.  If the visit is not allowed, the visitor will be advised to leave the property.

  2. Frequently Asked Questions
    • How early do I need to arrive for a visit?

      Maine State Prison recommends arriving a half-hour prior to your visit to allow adequate time to check in, and adequate time for the prisoner to be notified of your arrival.

    • Who should I contact for further information?

      Questions about visitation should be directed to the Lobby Officer, Maine State Prison, (207) 273-5302.

    • What can I do if I have concerns, complaints or comments about my visiting experience?

      Comment Cards are available in the lobby for your use.  This information is received directly by the Warden’s Office.  If you need more immediate assistance, follow the points of contact in the next section of this guide.

    • How many times can I visit each week?

      Prisoners are allowed three (3) visits per week for those housed in the Close Custody Unit and four (4) visits per week for prisoners housed in the Medium Custody Unit.  Only one (1), one (1) hour visit per week is allowed for prisoners in the Special Management Unit.  For the purpose of counting allowed visits, the week runs Thursday through Sunday.

    • What will happen if I show up to visit and the prisoner has another visitor there as well?

      If a visitor(s) arrive at the prison to visit a prisoner and the prisoner is already engaged in a visit the prisoner will be consulted to determine if he wants to split his visit time between his current visitor(s) and the visitors waiting in the Lobby.  Prisoners are limited to three (3) adult visitors at any one time.   

  3. Points of Contact

You may request to speak with the Visit Supervisor or Shift Commander anytime.  You may also contact the Visit Supervisor by telephone at 273-5300 to discuss concerns or complaints. Visitors may ask to speak with the Shift Commander regarding any visit issue. No visits may be cancelled/denied without the approval of the Shift Commander.

  1. Visitor Orientation

It is our goal to keep visitors informed regarding existing visit procedures as well as any new procedures and certainly any changes in the visit policy or procedures.  Visitors are welcomed to voluntarily participate in visitor orientation.  Visitor orientations are conducted quarterly, as needed.  Visitors will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding prisoner visit procedures and established rules.  Please contact the Lobby Officer or Visit Supervisor for additional information on Visitor Orientation.

Revised 6/4/13

Visit Policies (PDF 68K)*


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