Visitation Information

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR VISITING

11/28/2020 UPDATE: Due to technical issues outside of our control, we will unfortunately be canceling video visiting through this weekend. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, so that those with scheduled visits next week will not be impacted. We will also be rescheduling the visits from this weekend as soon as possible. Please see our visiting page for updates. We apologize for this inconvenience, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

CDCR has launched limited video visiting to allow friends and family to safely connect with incarcerated people, beginning at five institutions by Nov. 28 with more added through the end of the year. In-person visiting remains canceled statewide until further notice as part of the department’s COVID-19 response.

CDCR recognizes visiting is an important way to maintain family and community ties. At the same time, our first priority is the health and safety of those who live in and work in our facilities.

CDCR will now begin to offer real-time video visiting as a safe way for incarcerated people to see and speak with their loved ones. We have developed a virtual process in cooperation with California Correctional Health Care Services and the California Department of Public Health.

Under the new system, each inmate will have the opportunity for a free 30-minute video visit every 30 days. Visits will take place on weekends and holidays, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The department will begin video visitation at five institutions the weekend of Nov. 28 and Nov. 29, with the goal to expand to all adult facilities by the end of the year. The five pilot institutions are: Central California Women’s Facility, California Institution for Men, Mule Creek State Prison, San Quentin State Prison, and Valley State Prison.

Visitors are encouraged to reference information below on how to schedule visits, use the video system and expectations for virtual visits. Also view answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


Scheduling Video Visits

Prospective visitors must submit visiting requests directly to the institution where their loved one is housed, using the designated email addresses for each institution:

Only those individuals who have already been approved as a visitor may make an appointment. View Step-by-step instructions. VPASS will no longer be used to schedule a visit.

Reservations will be taken weekly, beginning each Saturday at 8 a.m. through Monday at 8 a.m. for visits the following weekend. Please note, emails received outside the timeframe allowed will not be rolled over to the following weekend for review. Instead, a new request must be submitted during the following week reservation timeframe. Reservations are currently only available for the first five institutions. Not all reservations may be accepted because of space and equipment limitations.

Visitors must provide the following information in their visitation email request:

  • Inmate CDCR Number
  • Approved Visitor(s) Full Name(s)
  • Date of Birth
  • Valid Identification Type and Number
  • Relationship to the Inmate
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Visitors approved for video visitation will receive a confirmation email that includes the visit’s time and date. The dates and times are assigned and cannot be changed if you cannot make the appointment. You may request a new visiting session during the next open visiting scheduling timeframe. Also included in the confirmation will be a link to join a visiting session as well as instructions on how to begin a video visit. You may also check out the Webex How-To resource for some helpful tips and a step-by-step guide on how to access the Webex video visit.

As with all visitation at our institutions, visits may be canceled at any time for health and safety reasons. All visitors should check the VPASS Facility Status before any scheduled visit to ensure the institution is still open for video visiting.


Using Webex Video System

Video visits will take place using Webex, which can be accessed for free on devices with internet and camera capabilities (i.e., smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer). Incarcerated people will use laptop computers in designated visiting areas. CDCR will only provide laptop computers to inmates; no equipment will be provided to visitors by CDCR. View more information on the video visitation technology.

During the Visit

To make your video visit go as smoothly as possible, CDCR encourages you to familiarize yourself with our new video visiting guidelines and procedures. Once connected to the Webex system, visitors should ensure they are in a location where they will be able to hear throughout the visit, as the incarcerated person’s mask must remain on through the duration of the video visit.

Before staff connects you to your loved one, approved visitors should log into the video visit at least five minutes prior to the scheduled start time and have valid identification ready to present to staff (including minor(s) birth certificates).

To maintain order and to ensure safety, rules established in California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Article 7 Visiting, still apply during all video visits with the exception of dress code color restrictions

Misconduct by any party during a visit will result in termination of the video visit, and may include disciplinary action. Information about attire and other visiting guidelines are available at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/visitors/inmate-visiting-guidelines/.

All institutions will be following public health protocols while conducting video visitation, including physical distancing and sanitation of each station following a visit. For additional information on CDCR’s COVID-19 response, additional updates and information can be found at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/


Locate Inmate

Use the Inmate Locator to find an inmate and in what facility they are housed.


Schedule Visit, Visitor Processing Appointment Scheduling System (VPASS)

Sign-up or log into VPASS to schedule an inmate visit. VPASS stands for Visitor Processing Appointment Scheduling System. Note: this requires creating an online account.


Check Visiting Status

You can find out the visiting status of a CDCR facility by checking the VPASS Visiting Status. You should always do this the day you plan to visit, because visitation can sometimes be unexpectedly cancelled.

Contacting an Incarcerated Person

Individuals are free to contact any state prison inmate by mail, and electronic mail is available at some institutions. See our website on how to contact an inmate.

You cannot directly call an inmate. However, most inmates have access to telephones and can initiate outgoing collect calls. Learn how to receive a call.

Sending Money and Packages

Sending money to an inmate is permitted. Learn how to send money. How to Send a Package to an Inmate.
You can send Inmate Quarterly Packages through authorized private vendors. Learn how to send packages.

You can send Religious Property Packages through authorized private vendors. Send Religious Property packages.


Inmate Family Councils

Statewide Inmate Family Council 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.

Throughout the roll-out of the video visitation program, CDCR will be collecting feedback, questions, and concerns on the process from the IFC’s so the department can work to create better solutions and processes for this new program.


Visitation Guidelines

Refer to the Department’s current policies and regulations in Title 15 and the Department Operations Manual if you want to know more.