The Michigan Department of Corrections must regulate apparel for good reason. One of the more controversial parts of the rules involves outer wear. Coats are not permitted, but blazers and sweaters are.
With that background, here is the story as told by my friend Anna, a prison mom. Her companion,also a prison mom, had a very unpleasant experience. She and her husband had driven a couple hours to visit their son in prison, and here's how it went:
She had on a nice jacket from Christopher Banks...not a "coat jacket" but a dress-up blazer that you wear with nice clothes. The woman working the visiting room told her she could not get in, because the blazer had metal buttons. Ms. B promptly returned to her seat, pulled all the metal buttons off her new blazer, and re-entered the visiting area. The officer allowed her husband in, but insisted it was still a "coat," and again blocked her entry. She was told that there was a department store 10 minutes away. She left, purchased a new knit-button-up long-sleeved cardigan top, and came back to be checked in. The officer decided this was also a coat, and allowed that she would have to call in someone higher up. By then Ms. B was in tears, precious time was being wasted, and she was waiting. Two officers arrived...one said to let her in, but the Sgt. said that he still believed this was a coat. So, she had to go back to the store one more time. This time she purchased a button-up sweater with no snaps, no pockets, and she was finally admitted.
The nice prison moms, who meant no ill will, are able to provide pictures and receipts.
Are we having fun yet?