Mara Leveritt, our veteran correspondent on crime and punishment in Arkansas, wrote me recently after learning about an update to visitor dress codes at state prisons, particularly what she said was a prohibition on underwire bras and thin blouses. Mara said this has required some unexpected layering or even unplanned clothing store runs for uninformed visitors.

I inquired. Here’s what Cathy Frye, the Correction Department’s spokeswoman, explained to me about dress codes:


The ADC policy, most recently amended in August, states:

“Visitors’ clothing must be appropriate for the age and occasion. No halter-tops, tank tops, hats, shorts, mini-skirts/dresses, see-through clothing, leggings, jeggings, or camouflage attire may be worn. Brief cut or otherwise provocative clothing will not be permitted. No sleeveless tops are allowed because shoulders must be covered at all times. Children ten (10) years of age and under will be allowed to wear shorts of an appropriate length. Metal on clothing items should be avoided due to delays in clearing security equipment when additional search procedures are required including the removal of any items containing metal.”

So … if someone is wearing an item with metal – say, an underwire bra – she won’t make it through the scanners.

While bras aren’t mentioned specifically in the policy, I make it a point to let female media representatives know that “metal on clothing items” can mean the wires sewn into bras. I do so in an effort to spare any possible embarrassment and to help expedite the entry process.


(This no-metal rule applies to female staff as well.)

As for non-media visitors: Anyone applying to become a visitor receives information regarding the dress code. (It’s included in the visitor application packet.)


Each unit also posts information regarding attire at the entrance.

I only have one other question. What is a jegging?

UPDATE: Thanks to my fashionable readers for input on jeggings. I also received a photo. (Surely those shoes would be viewed as weapons in the ADC.)