|I was in prison and you came
to visit me (Matthew 25:36)
We have gathered that after January 7th, visiting at High Desert State Prison will be on a first come first serve basis, instead of by appointment.
There is still no information on the NDOC website about this important change for all who have loved ones inside HDSP.
We all know how important, if not vital, it is to allow visits to prisoners. It even makes a job for a c.o. easier if the prisoners are less tense because they have had a visit with a loved one. It makes re-entry much easier, and thus it reduces future recidive.
To install a “first come first serve” visiting rule creates a lot of problems, for example if you come from far away (and most visitors do, in Nevada), it is not acceptable that you can not visit because there is a large cue before you (as is often the case at HDSP, even if you are on time).
Also, where do the visitors wait? How do they know who was first? Do they queue up with their cars? How much time is eaten from the visits because the prisoners do not know they have a visit or who have to be collected at the moment the visitor is allowed in? In many states this has been practice and it goes well, but they have personell in place who deal with getting visitors processed quickly and they do not turn away people as long as they come between certain times, unless it is a very busy day like Mothers’ Day.
It may sound better, to no longer have appointments, but visits on a “first come first serve”-basis is unfair and not practical in the way there is no clear announcement or anything for the future visitors who have to plan their journeys well ahead (for instance by having to book a plane). NDOC, a professional, taxfunded governmental organization, should advertise and communicate these important changes from those who finance their prisons (the public) much clearer and more professionally.
This is not the only visiting issue that NDOC should address. Not a few people have been refused a visit or more, even many more, without the possibility to have a video visit instead.
NDOC should give open information to every visitor on their website as well as to all visitors who come now, and over the telephone.