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Contact Visits by Family & Friends
Tuesday, February 10, 2009


MIra Loma Detention Facility in Lancaster, Calif. (Christian Fuchs — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)
ICE/ERO Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011
5.7 Visitation - V. Expected Practices
I. Visits by Family and Friends
4. Contact Visits

Written procedures shall detail the limits and conditions of contact visits in facilities that permit them. Ordinarily, within the bounds of propriety, handshaking, embracing, and kissing are permitted only at the beginning and end of the visit; however, staff may limit physical contact to minimize opportunities for contraband introduction and to otherwise maintain the orderly operation of the visiting area.

Detainees receiving contact visits shall be given a thorough pat-down search prior to entering the visiting room. Upon exiting, searches of detainees shall be conducted in accordance with facility policy and procedures, which should be reflective of such factors as:

            a. the nature of the facility;

            b. whether the facility houses detainees pending trial for violent or drug-related crimes;

            c. the availability of appropriate screening devices; monitoring technology; and/or

            d. concern for contraband entering the facility.

A facility may only adopt a policy permitting strip searches after contact visits in the absence of reasonable suspicion if detainees have the right to choose non-contact visitation instead. Detainees must be fully informed of that option and the policy generally in a language or manner they understand.