Saturdays, Sundays and Designated Holidays* from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
* New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas
All visiting check-ins must be completed prior to 2:00 p.m. For updated information in English and Spanish regarding NKSP visitor hours or closures, please contact the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's toll-free Visiting Information Line at (800) 374-8474 or contact (661) 721-2345 ext. 7033.
A CDCR funded Visitor Center is at the institution operated by a community-based organization under contract to CDCR. The Visitor Center provides visiting assistance to family members and friends including a sheltered place to wait before and after visits, transportation to and from local transit terminals, childcare, clothing appropriate for visits on loan, and information about local resources, visiting rules and regulations.
Local Inmate Family Councils (IFC's) are a gathering of family and friends of the incarcerated who meet regularly with Wardens to support visiting since keeping strong family connections with loved ones is a powerful rehabilitative tool. These IFC's promote visiting by clarifying rules and regulations as well as discussing health, education, vocational training, packages, books, and related issues. For more information on connecting with a local IFC, please visit the Statewide IFC website.
From Northern Destinations:
From Southern Destinations:
North Kern State Prison is located approximately 250 miles south of Sacramento, and approximately 180 miles north of Los Angeles. It is approximately 4 miles north of Kern Valley State Prison. For additional information, visit this link to customize your driving directions.
The mission of North Kern State Prison is to process and classify incoming inmates from County Jails by evaluating their medical and mental health needs, determining their security level, program requirements, and appropriate institutional placement prior to their transfer.
NKSP has a general population medium custody facility and a minimum support facility with a ten-bed Level I firehouse. The general population portion of the institution focuses on providing educational/vocational opportunities to inmates equipping them with skills which will aid them in finding gainful employment upon their release from prison.
The Reception Center currently processes incoming inmates usually within a 90 day period. After compiling the inmate's criminal records, life histories, medical and psychological histories, and social relationships, NKSP staff determines the inmate's classification score and institutional placement.
NKSP is also the site where the Central / Southern California Transportation Hub for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is located and operates from.
On October 7, 1994, the adult education facility was dedicated in the memory of Marie Keroack Romero, a prison teacher who was murdered at a California Youth Authority facility in 1975.
Three hundred and sixty acres of NKSP property has been designated as protected wildlife habitat for the Blunt-Nosed Leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox, and the Tipton kangaroo Rat. The facility is an exact replica of its closest neighbor, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center.
On October 22, 2012 a 5.7 megawatt Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant was activated. An estimated 13.3 million dollars savings over the next 20 year is projected. The solar deployment will offset nearly 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide over 20 years. The system and panels produce no noise and zero greenhouse emissions.
Kelly Santoro has been Warden or acting Warden at North Kern State Prison since 2015. In addition, she served as an Associate Warden from 2009 to 2010 and as a Correctional Counselor from 1997 to 2001 at North Kern State Prison.
Ms. Santoro was Chief Deputy Warden at Wasco State Prison from 2012 to 2015. She was Associate Warden at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran from 2010 to 2012, where she was Facility Captain in 2006 and a Correctional Counselor Specialist from 2001 to 2006. Ms. Santoro was an Associate Warden at California State Prison, Corcoran from 2008 to 2009 and Captain of the Central Region Bakersfield Health Care Division from 2006 to 2008. She worked at California State Prison, Centinela from 1993 to 1997, including Correctional Counselor and Correctional Officer.