Carson jail visitation policy changing |

Carson jail visitation policy changing

by F.T. Norton
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Effective Feb. 1, jail visitation will be reduced to Sundays by appointment only, and only after an inmate has been in custody for at least seven days.

“What we are doing is bringing our jail in line with the jails in Douglas and Washoe counties,” Sheriff Ken Furlong said Tuesday.

Under the current policy inmates can receive visitors three days a week as soon as they are incarcerated. The visitor need only show up during visiting hours to put their name on a list.

“The main reason is to protect the older folks coming in visiting,” Furlong said. “They are being mowed over by the younger people rushing to get in line.”

Furlong also cited an increase in disputes among visitors as a motivation for the policy change.

“During visiting, people make a mad dash to the front door then we have this line outside of people wanting to get inside so they can put their name on a list. The control officer is just getting inundated with visitors and there’s court going on at the same time (next door),” said Jail Sgt. Brian Mays. “With visiting on a Sunday, there is obviously no court and there is usually absolutely nothing going on, so it will just free up the control officer to focus primarily on that.”

According to the new rules, an appointment to visit an inmate must be made by calling 283-4777 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday. The number will not be active until Feb. 1.

“Jail visitation in my mind should be no different than getting an appointment to see your doctor. You call up and make an appointment to get in to see your doctor,” said Furlong. “Why should we treat jail visitation any differently?”

A few years ago, he said, Douglas County made a similar change that caused a slight uproar, but eventually things quieted down.

“People will get used to the new policy and everything will be fine,” he said.