The intent of CDCR’s Visiting Program is to help develop and maintain healthy family and community relationships.
This page assists the general public in locating, contacting, visiting, and corresponding with inmates and juveniles who are in our institutions. How to Visit an Inmate
Visiting a CDCR facility must be conducted in a manner that maintains order, safety, and security of the people and facility. Failure to comply with the established regulations and policies may result in a warning or termination, suspension, or revocation of your visiting privileges.
Recommended Steps Before Visiting:
- Read Visitation Guidelines to understand what you can expect and what is expected of you
- Find out in which facility your inmate is housed
- Schedule a visit online using the VPASS system
- The day of your scheduled visit, check the Visiting Status to ensure the institution is accepting visitors
Use the Inmate Locator to find an inmate and what facility they are housed in.
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 in one of two ways:
- Call the Visiting Status Hotline at 1-800-374-8474
- Check the VPASS Visiting Status; locate the facility you plan to visit.
You should always do this the day you plan to visit, because visitation can sometimes be unexpectedly cancelled.
How to Contact an Inmate
Individuals are free to contact any state prison inmate by mail. Learn how. How to Receive Calls from 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.
How to Send 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.