How to Fill a Federal Visitation Form
Prison is already scary enough as it is, even for hardcore criminals. Living a life where you are told what to do and when to do it is not easy. For first time inmates, it’s even worse! Transitioning into penitentiary life is quite hard; having no idea who would help them adjust to prison life. In addition, the bureaucracy at both the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department Of Corrections can be quite a lot.
Worse, it can be a problem for inmates’ families to find out information about the inmate and know how they are fairing in prison. Communicating with them can also be a problem, and even getting information from the facility concerning certain things such as visitation can be a problem.
For the inmate’s mental conditions and the inmate’s family peace of mind, it is essential to have constant communication. To help in this, we have some information to help inmates and their loved ones access necessary prison information.
In this article, we will look at the BP-AO629 form, referred to as the visitor application form for inmates incarcerated in a security facility. Some of the things that will be covered in this article include:
- The purpose of the form
- What is in the form
- Where to send the form
- How long it takes before a friend or family member is approved as a visitor
- The remedy for an application that takes too long to be accepted
- The visit
How to Fill a Bop Visitation Form
What Is the Use for the BP-A0629 FORM?
Suppose you want to visit any prison facility in the United States, you will fill out an application, whether you are a child or grown-up, as long as the facility falls under the Federal Bureau of Prisons or the Correctional Department.
The visitors’ form is an excellent security buffer, where prison officials acquire some information about the person planning to visit the facility. The information sought after through the visitor’s form helps prison officials carry out an effective background check to ensure no one coming into the facility poses any security threats.
Prisons hold dangerous people inside, and anyone coming into the facility can be a security threat, making it important for prison personnel to ensure they know who is coming in.
As soon as an inmate is processed into the facility, they are given a bunch of BP-A0629 forms. They then fill them and send them back to the facility. The facility will have to approve your application before you get to visit.
It is worth noting that the bop visitation forms are only used in state and federal prisons. Private prisons are not mandated to do the same; however, they may choose to also use the same practice.
Some of the people allowed to visit an inmate include their family, up to ten associates, foreign officials, religious groups, employers, sponsors, parole advisors, and attorneys.
What Is Contained In the A0629 Form
The form is a one-page document with a couple of things a potential visitor must fill out and mail to the facility before visiting.
The following information is commonly found on the form:
- The names
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Race and sex
- Valid driver’s license number and state insurances
In case you are a US citizen, you have to provide your social security number, and if you are not a citizen, you have to provide your passport number or alien registration number.
Other questions on the form include:
- What is the relationship with the inmate you want to visit?
- Are you interested in visiting the facility?
- What was the relationship before incarceration?
- Are you a previous felon?
- Are you currently serving probation?
- Do you visit other inmates?
While doing their background check, after you have sent in the bp-A0629, prison officials may decide to contact law enforcement to ensure you are not a risk to security before admitting you at the facility.
While filling the A0629 forms, you don’t have to fill in everything; however, the less information you provide, the easier it is for the security facility to refuse admission into the facility.
Something else to note is that it is against the law to lie on the A0629 form. It would be better for you to avoid filling the form rather than provide false information on it.
Getting caught lying may lead to federal prosecution, and because the prison officials may contact law enforcement, they have a huge chance of arriving at the truth.
Where Do You Send The BP- A0629 Form?
After you receive mail with the A0629 form, the first thing is to fill it out. It usually has a return address to help you know where to send back the application form. You will not send it directly to the inmate.
After filling it, the form should go to the inmate’s counselor at the facility.
It may be a problem sending back the mail to the counselor, as you may not know them by name. What you can do in such a scenario is to call the facility first. You can enquire about the name of the counselor from prison personnel and address the mail to him.
You can search facility phone number on the internet or on any available directories if you do not have access to the internet.
It is worth noting that if the inmate cannot or does not send you the A0629 form, you have the option of downloading and printing the information online through www.bop.gov. If you get it online, you will have to search for the facility’s mailing address before sending back the application.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Visitor?
You may have to wait for a while before your application is either accepted or rejected. This ranges from between 30 days and 60 days. Remember that prison personnel have to go through the form and ensure that they check your background information. Therefore, it may take some time to get a visit approved.
Depending on how fast they can verify the information you put on the form, which is when they will accept or reject the application. The amount of background information they look at has to be verified from a couple of sources, including law enforcement.
After the application is validated, they have to ensure that whatever information you have about the application is compliant with their rules and regulations. This is how they either accept or reject the application.
If you are from the immediate family, your application may run through faster, as it may be prioritized.
Another factor that may influence the pace of application validation is the facility the inmate is being held at. Some facilities are slower, while others are faster.
What to Do If Approval Is Taking Too Long
As previously stated, some institutions’ bureaucracy may have many problems for friends and family accessing information. It may not come as a surprise that some applications may end up on the waitlist, taking months and months without a reply.
So what can you do to help the process along?
For one, if you have passed the sixty-day mark without a reply, you can make a couple of phone calls to the facility. Ask to speak to the prison inmate counselors, who will be very helpful in providing all the necessary information.
You may also go to the facility and enquire directly from prison personnel about visitation and the A0629 form.
Making the Visit
If you have gone through the above procedures and satisfied their requirements, you will most likely be eligible for a visit to the facility. Before visiting, you will have to comply with a couple of things to get admitted into the facility.
Most rules associated with visitation vary from facility to facility, each with their preferences and policies. However, security facilities will have common standards that are applicable to most prisons. One of the main things most facilities will ask for is a valid ID. If you do not have one, you will not access the premises.
Another important thing you should ensure is keeping time when arriving at the facility. Different facilities will have different rules about arrival time, and familiarizing yourself with this can be helpful. Some facilities will require you to be at the facility several hours before the actual visiting time, failure to which you will be turned back.
Dress code is also quite important when visiting, and the way you dress up will influence whether you get to enter the jail. Different jails have different rules as to what to wear; however, most facilities will commonly adhere to a more conservative dress code, no shorts or short dresses, or flip-flops.
You should ensure you first call the facility before you visit to ensure you have everything done right.
If you have a loved in prison, do not underestimate the value of a visit to the facility. Inmates lead quite a boring and monotonous life in prison, which may take a toll on their temperament and wellbeing. A visit is just the right kind of fresh air they need to push through their time at the penitentiary.