What Can You Do If Your Loved One Is Part of a Prisoner Transport?

What Can You Do If Your Loved One Is Part of a Prisoner Transport?

It’s not easy to have a loved one in prison. For many, visits are the best way to stay in touch. But what should you do if your loved one is on a prisoner transport to another facility? There are some steps you can take to learn how to visit, where they’re going, and how to request a transfer to a certain prison.

Why does a prisoner transport from one facility to another?

There are many reasons why an incarcerated person may transfer between units or to another facility. Sometimes, they might be in danger from their peers. They may also be sensitive to heat or need special services. Prisoner transport is hard and staff members don’t move incarcerated people without a reason.

Your loved one may get information about a transfer before it happens. This is a good time to ask why the prison is moving your loved one to a different place. If the change is about protecting someone in prison, they may not tell you until after the transfer. This is also true if a prisoner changes classification.

All prisoners have security categories. Some prisons house only high-security risks. These are maximum-security prisons. Minimum-security prisons are typically for people who don’t pose a threat in the prison. Incarcerated individuals with gang ties may also move from prison to prison.

Image depicting prison transport.
Image courtesy of goodmoments via Getty Images.

Can a prisoner request a transport closer to home?

Yes, prisoners can request transfers for many reasons. If your loved one is near the end of their sentence, they can ask to move to a prison near you. This can help them rejoin the world when they get out. They can also ask for a transfer if you have a medical problem that makes it hard for you to visit.

Prisons don’t have to grant transfer requests. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have rules about where to house a prisoner.

While an incarcerated person wants to request a transfer, loved ones can help. If you have an issue that makes it hard to visit, you can write to the governor. You can also ask your doctor or any social worker involved to write a letter on your behalf. The governor looks at these things when choosing to grant transfers.

Image depicting prisoner transport.
Image courtesy of benkrut via Getty Images.

Does the prison have to tell me before they transport my loved one?

No, the prison does not have to tell you about a transfer. In most cases, they should let your loved one know before the move happens. Incarcerated people get one free letter to let loved ones know they are changing prisons. Of course, they don’t always know about transfers ahead of time.

Sometimes the transfer process takes a long time. Other times, it can happen in hours. If you’re trying to find a loved one, the Bureau of Prisons can help. Most states have tools like this as well. Use their “inmate locator” to find out where your loved one has moved.

The Takeaway:

Prisoner transport happens every day. There are many reasons why your loved one might be moved to another facility. They can ask for a transfer. You can help by writing a letter to the governor.

Interested in finding guidance to help your loved one deal with a prison sentence? Curious about their legal rights? Stay tuned to How To Justice for more info about the prison system.

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