Dressing 4 Jail Visitation, Fck Prison (book excerpt from FEM)

Everybody knows you have to dress down for jail visits. Something like jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. For one thing, you don’t want any extra attention from the CO’s. Visitation is also a lot of walking around and standing around. Ramps, hallways, elevators. It wouldn’t even be worth an outfit. And the dress code is crazy anyway. Even just going down that list—no slit in the skirt, no cleavage, no mid drift—I never noticed how much of my clothes qualifies as inappropriate in the eyes of the prison industrial complex. See-through shirts, low-cut this, high slit that. Skintight. Oops.

What to wear is often the most immediate conversation happening between visitors too. Standing in pre-waiting rooms, people are explaining their outfit choices, saying that they’re dressed bummy because her dude told her to just come however. Don’t get dressed up because last time she got turned away and missed the whole visit. Other people are tucking in their shirts, covering a rip in their jeans with a whole extra pair of jeans on top. Here to do some of the most unthanked work in the world—socializing with imprisoned people—but all the clothes stuff makes you not even want to go.

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