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Pennsylvania Visitation, Prison Phones, Packages & Mail Topics / Information relating to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and local / county Jail visitation, phone calls, mail, inmate care packages, etc.

 
 
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Old 07-08-2006, 12:08 PM
chrsyfrl chrsyfrl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pa- Philadelphia County
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Smile My first visit to Camp Hill ( in case anyone is nervous about a visit)

Hi! I just wanted to report abour my visit to Camp Hill, in case anyone had concerns about a visit. I was really nervous and anxious about going. I was unsure of what to expect and if I was going to be able to handle it. I did get a little lost ( thank to Yahoo Maps/Mapquest) and had to call the prison for directions. The guy I talked to was very patient and got me there with no problems. It is VERY easy to find if you know where to go. I got the waiting room, and it was pretty crowded, but things moved quicker that I thought they would. I had to wait in a line to 'check' in. Then had a seat till they found my guy. total time in the waiting rooom was about 30 minutes. The CO's who checked me in and did the search were polite and professional. One could even say "nice" ( not what I expected) After I was ok to go-- I was directed to the visiting room dn walked there alone. When I got there I was surpised at the relaxed envirnoment. The CO's at the desk were a tad on the grumpy side, very strict but it was easy to know what the rules are and not to break thme. I had to "get" my guy at the desk and we were assigned seats for our visit. There were lots of vending machines and if it wasn't for the uniforms youwould think it was a DMV waiting room with better chairs. It was good to see him as we hadn't seen each other since April. We had a 4 hour visit.
Here are some tips, some you might know but keep in mind:
- Get GOOD directions. The stress of a visit is bad anough with out getting lost ( call to make sure eveyrthing is OK with visits that day too)
- go early. The waiting room can be boring, lot sof people brought newspapers that they left behind when callled. I as lucky to sit next ti somone who gave me theirs.
-Bring: ID, and plastic bag/see through container with $$ for vending machine. The prices are pretty average ( $3 for hamburger/cheeseburger/pizza ( there's a microwave to heat food) about 1.20 for drinks, $1-2 for snacks...) the 'good' stuf goes fast!
-I suggest bringing coins rather than paper money. The machine run out of change fast, you can't bring anything larger than a $5 and it's a productive way to cash in that change you might have around.
- the CO's really freaked out over too much contact. Just dont' do it. It was hard not to touch my guy the way I wanted to, especially when I felt he really needed a hug or some affection, but they'll yell at you in front of EVERYONE-all the talking stops and eveyone looks. Plus, I did see them terminate a visit so they WILL. You can hug him beofre and after your visit.

all in all in was much better than I thought. ALL the guys were SO HAPPY to be with their people, it was not a somber room. If you have a loved one, or friend, I suggest planning a visit. It really isn't scary and they get so happy....

Tanks for reading and good luck!

-Chrissy

PS _ from chatting with others in the waiting room I undertand it is more crowded in the weekends, this was a Friday visit. I wanted to get in as much time as possible.
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