Staying Connected

Research tells us that healthy support from family members and friends is one of the most important keys for an inmate to successfully return into his or her family and community.

Incarcerated individuals do much better in many ways, over the short and long term, when they can keep and strengthen important relationships with their children, parents, partners, other family members and friends.

Healthy connection and contact with family members and friends are shown to lower the likelihood of the inmate re-offending, and also to increase positive behaviors. These changes increase the chances of family life and steady employment.

When writing, calling or visiting, please keep in mind that those in jail often feel upset, ashamed, worried, angry, overwhelmed, lonely, powerless, and frustrated too.

Family Building Work Group
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s (CJCC) Family Building Work group has a variety of resources available to support you, your family and your inmate while he or she is incarcerated, and after release. Making use of resources (contact information on back of guide) can be very helpful for you and your family as you go forward.

We hope that this guide will make it a bit easier to navigate as you go through this challenging time.

Staying Connected by Mail
Incoming and outgoing mail will be screened by staff. Incoming legal mail will be screened in the presence of the inmate. The mail you send must have a complete return address including your full name, clearly written.

Mail your letter to:
Buffalo County Jail
(Loved one's name)
407 S. Second St.
Alma, WI 54610

Note: A limited number of photos are allowed. Photos can help inmates feel in touch with their family members. However, no nudity, sexual content or pornographic images are allowed.

Staying Connected by Visits
Jail visiting hours are:
  • Sundays from 1 - 3 p.m.
  • Thursdays from 7 - 9 p.m.
Only immediate family (parents, spouse, children, grandparents, siblings) over the age of 18 are allowed to visit. Child care will not be available, so do not bring children along at the time of your visit.

Requesting Approval
Inmates must request in writing to the jail lieutenant approval for any visitor who is not immediate family. Through this process, up to 4 more visitors may be allowed. Visiting times are limited to 20 minutes per visit, which may be changed subject to the jailer’s discretion.

Visiting Procedures
All visitors must present a photo ID each time that they visit. Visitors who are unruly, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be denied a visit. All visitors must be fully clothed at all times.

Clergy are welcome and encouraged to visit, but must be approved and scheduled by the jail lieutenant prior to visiting, due to security and time constraints within the jail.

Staying Connected by Phone
Telephone services are through Securus. Only outgoing phone calls from the jail are permitted. Phone calls may be monitored and/or recorded. Phone calls can be made by inmates via calling collect or by using debit time.

Jail staff will not take personal incoming messages for the inmate unless there is a verifiable emergency.