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Ga. Dept. of Corrections Torturous Approved Visitation List

The Georgia Department of Corrections policy on Visitation, Sending Money, and Ordering Packages. I am describing my situation in supporting Ky, but this applies to all Georgia Department of Corrections residents.
I get messages every day from amazing supporters who want to send Ky money or books or try to visit. Unfortunately, the Ga. DOC has ridiculous guidelines for contact with their residents. These rules are a form of torture that specifically targets poor families, and prevents them from contacting their incarcerated loved ones.

The ” APPROVED Visitation List “

The DOC allows residents to update their visitation list 2 times per year.  The resident is given a few forms to send to loved ones, which have to be filled out and returned along with a large amount of personal documentation.  This required documentation list includes; photo ID, SS card, Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, and more.

Here is a link to the GDOC Application 

While the application itself isn’t terrible, there are 2 things that make this torturous for the incarcerated:

  1. Almost no one is approved. While the GDOC claims that friends may apply, they usually ONLY APPROVE immediate family.  Only about 30% of the population at Pulaski has a person on their Approved Visitation List.
  2.  ONLY people on the “Approved” visitation list are allowed to send money, order packages, and have visitation.  If you are not on the list,  you cannot support your loved one. If the prison runs out of something, like hygiene products, those who do not have support on the Approved List, will go without.

This policy segregates residents from healthy connections in the Free World that is beneficial to their rehabilitation. The  DOC strictly limits communications to the outside world to :

  •  Limit the number of complaints from the residents, and their families, regarding abuse and neglect.
  • To create a sense of abandonment and despair in the resident. Residents without family contact are less likely to resist if they have no one to speak for them on the outside.

Weekly Commissary, Food, and Clothing Packages

First, let’s start out with WHAT the GDOC provides to its residents.

  • Clothing – Uniforms, white undershirts, 3 pair of underwear,   3 pairs of socks, one pair of boots,  1 pair of pajamas,  1 winter coat.   Additional clothing items may be ordered from the prison-approved clothing package that is provided to the residents. They have the option to order sweatshirts, thermals, shorts, and clothing items.  The resident fills out an order form and sends it home where someone on the APPROVED Visitation List can purchase
  • Personal Items-  Once a week the GDOC calls “Supplies”,  Everyone is given  toilet paper,  travel size deodorant, travel size toothpaste (which residents use to clean the toilet, not their teeth), and a small bar of blue soap (which is excellent for washing whites but extremely irritating to the skin).  In women’s facilities, each resident is given either 30 pads or 30 tampons once a month.  Personal items such as shampoo, REAL deodorant, hair care items (hair is required to be neat and put up), combs, brushes, & toothbrushes can be purchased off of the Weekly Commissary Sheet IF the resident receives money from someone on the APPROVED Visitation List.
  • Food Items-  Here is where the DOC is particularly nasty.  In an attempt to save money, Ga. Prisons do NOT provide lunch on weekends (Friday included) or Holidays.  They serve breakfast every morning around 4:30 am,  and dinner is served around 5:30 pm.  Residents can go 12 hours or more without eating for days … unless they are able to order food from the Weekly Commissary, which again, requires someone on the APPROVED Visitation List.  *Additionally, Ky is housed in a long-term facility. Many of its residents are elderly or disabled.  Ky will order food for many ladies in his dorm so they will not have to go without.

While the policies make things difficult, they are not impossible to work around. Ky has family on his visitation list. He receives money through his FundRazr which is directly linked to an account where funds are sent and packages are ordered by an approved family member.

 

If you would like to help us continue supporting Ky, donations can be made here:

Ky’s FundRazr 

 

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