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Information for Lawyers

We invite lawyers to call us in their efforts to assist their clients with these and other services:

  • We can get a message from you to your client in the jail
  • We can get a change of clothes for your client to wear in court
  • We can pick up your clients property at the Police District
  • We can help with a variety of family concerns

"I've used VSC a number of times. What they've done for me would drive a lawyer crazy if he had to do it himself, but they are tasks which are important to the client, like tracking down property or helping an inmate get his paycheck from his employer."

Attorney, DC Bar


Court Ordered Community Service

Through the years, we have accepted probationers with a wide variety of skills who have court ordered hours of community service as part of their sentence. If this is a need for your client, call on us.

Over the years, these men and women have designed our website, set up our accounting system, answered the phones, handled inmate requests, painted our office and conducted an overall evaluation of our work.

My experience was meaningful, helpful, and extremely rewarding. From my first day, you, your staff and the volunteers of Visitorsí Services Center made me feel that I was important and treated me with the utmost respect even though I was assigned to you as a convicted felon. You recognized how my talents and abilities could be utilized to carry out your mission in helping the inmates at the DC Jail. You assigned me meaningful tasks, not just busy work to meet my community service requirement. I was challenged and respected which contributed greatly in regaining my self-respect and self-confidence as a person and a professional while adjusting to life as a felon. Equally as important, you appreciated what I did for the beneficiaries of Visitorsí Services Center.

Thank you for the rewarding experience you provided me. I commend you, the staff, and the volunteers of Visitorsí Services Center for the important contributions you make for the inmates of the DC Jail. I offer my services to you as a volunteer in the future as you see fit. I donít want my rewarding experience to end just because my community service requirement has been met.

Letter to VSCís Executive Director, Community Service Volunteer


What Inmates Ask Us To Do

  • "Who is my lawyer?"
  • "I can't read or write. Can you help me with a letter to my lawyer?"
  • "I need to call my attorney. I want to withdraw my plea"
  • "Give my lawyer this message: "file a motion for discovery"
  • "I heard my lawyer is in the hospital. My court date is tomorrow. What can I do?"

Visiting the Jail

Lawyers may visit the jail any time, seven days a week. No advance arrangements are necessary. Lawyers can enter the Jail through the visitors' entrance during normal hours or through the Jail's staff entrance at other times. Lawyers need to present a driver's license and a DC Bar card as identification.

When visting the Jail, be mindful of the dress code: no gym clothes, sweat pants, shorts and skirts no more than 2 inches above the knee.


Inmates can call their lawyers by submitting a request to their case manager in their housing unit. It is difficult for an attorney to call an inmate and we don't advise trying unless there is a real emergency.

Law Library at the Jail

Each housing unit at the jail is scheduled for visits to the Law Library one hour each week. Inmates must sign up to visit the Law Library on the designated day. Inmates that are in protective custody or in special management units must submit written requests to the Law Library. These requests are researched by the law librarian and information is returned to the inmate.

Legal Materials

Inmates are allowed to keep in their cells legal materials which have been provided to them by their attorneys. They cannot take legal materials with them when they are transferred

VSC Law Firm Support

Through the years, Washington law firms have contributed generously in support of our work with the DC Jail. Included among our law firm supporters are:

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Arent Fox
  • Arnold & Porter LLP
  • Bredhoff & Kaiser
  • Covington & Burling LLP
  • Holland & Knight
  • Jack Olender & Associates
  • Patton Boggs
  • Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan
  • WilmerHale