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Video Visiting Frequently Asked Questions

Video visiting is available at all CDCR institutions and Conservation (Fire) Camps.

All institutions and conservation (fire) camps offer video visits.

See the Facility Visiting Status page for institution-specific information on video visiting.

See the Scheduling Visits at Conservation (Fire) Camps page for more on scheduling a video visit with a loved one at a conservation (fire) camp.

Current approved visitors with access to a device with internet and a camera connection (i.e., smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer) will be able to participate in video visitation.

The Visitation Scheduling Application (VSA) is now available at all 34 institutions.

VSA will be used to schedule all video visits unless otherwise noted.

Approved visitors must use the Visitation Scheduling Application (VSA) to schedule video visits unless otherwise noted. VSA is easy to use and gives users instant confirmation of their request. Only those individuals who have already been approved as a visitor may make an appointment at institutions.

CDCR uses staggered start times for scheduling visits. Visitors will need to schedule visits at the time designated for the institution in which their loved one is housed. Staggered start times will be separated by region: Northern, Central and Southern.

Northern Region

The VSA request period will open from 6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. for the following institutions in the Northern region:

  • California Correctional Center
  • Central California Women’s Facility
  • California Health Care Facility
  • California Medical Facility
  • California State Prison – Sacramento
  • California State Prison – Solano
  • Folsom State Prison
  • High Desert State Prison
  • Mule Creek State Prison
  • Pelican Bay State Prison
  • Sierra Conservation Center
  • San Quentin State Prison
  • Valley State Prison

Central Region

The VSA request period will open from 6:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. for the following institutions in the Central region:

  • Avenal State Prison
  • California Correctional Institution
  • California Men’s Colony
  • California State Prison – Corcoran
  • Correctional Training Facility
  • Kern Valley State Prison
  • North Kern State Prison
  • Pleasant Valley State Prison
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison – Corcoran
  • Salinas Valley State Prison
  • Wasco State Prison

Southern Region

The VSA request period will open from 7 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. for the following institutions in the Central region:

  • California City Correctional Facility
  • Calipatria State Prison
  • Centinela State Prison
  • California Institution for Men
  • California Institution for Women
  • California Rehabilitation Center
  • California State Prison – Los Angeles County
  • Chuckawalla Valley State Prison
  • Ironwood State Prison
  • Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

The request period begins eight days prior to the visitation day and closes five days prior to the visitation day. See the table below for examples.

Day of VisitRequest Window OpensRequest Window Closes
Friday, December 17Northern: 6 a.m.
Central: 6:30 a.m.
Southern: 7 a.m.
Thursday, December 9
11:59 PM
Sunday, December 12
Saturday, December 18Northern: 6 a.m.
Central: 6:30 a.m.
Southern: 7 a.m.
Friday, December 10
11:59 PM
Monday, December 13
Sunday, December 19Northern: 6 a.m.
Central: 6:30 a.m.
Southern: 7 a.m.
Saturday, December 11
11:59 PM
Tuesday, December 14

Connectivity issues will not allow CDCR to offer VSA to schedule fire camp video or in-person visits.

Please see the Scheduling Visits at Conservation (Fire) Camps page for instructions on how to request a video visit with a loved one housed at a camp.

Due to many Conservation Camps being located in remote areas, as well as the emergency response nature of the Conservation Camp Program, please be aware that a video visit may need to be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. If a video visit is canceled due to reasons such as deployment to an emergency or connectivity issues, CDCR staff will do their best to notify you prior to the scheduled visit that it is canceled.

Visitors MUST include the following information when emailing a request for a video visit: 

  • Inmate’s Full Name
    • Incarcerated person’s CDCR Number
    • Assigned housing is preferred if available
    • Approved Visitor(s) Full Name(s)
    • Date of Birth
    • Valid Identification Type and Number
    • Relationship to the Incarcerated Person
    • Email Address
    • Phone Number

Approved visitors must go to the Visitation Scheduling website using the following link to open the Visitation Scheduling Application: https://cdcr.gtlvisitme.com/app.  First-time users must establish an account by selecting the Claim Account button. Accounts can only be claimed using a desktop computer at this time. You will then be asked to provide your first name, last name, and date of birth to validate that you are an approved visitor. 

You cannot create an account and use the application unless you have already gone through the CDCR visitor approval process.  Once you have entered the information requested, select Next.  You will then be asked to enter in a valid email address that will also serve as your username. After entering in your email, select Next. The next screen will ask you to verify the information you entered and verify you are not a Robot.  Once this is completed, select the Finish button to complete the process.  You will receive an email with your account information and temporary password.  After you receive your temporary password, go back to the website and enter in your email address that was used to set up your account and the temporary password.  Select Log on button and it will ask you to create a new password. It is very important that you remember your password.  Select the Update button after entering in your new password and confirming it. This will take you to your Home page on the Visitation Scheduling Application.  You will only have to do this process once.  After your account is successfully established, you will just simply go to the website and login as an existing user. You are now ready to schedule a video visit.

To schedule a video visit you will need to go to the Visitation Scheduling Application at the following link https://cdcr.gtlvisitme.com/app.  Log into the application using your account username and password if you are an existing user.  If you are a new user, please refer to the FAQ “How do I get access to the Visitation Scheduling Application and what do I need to do to use the application to schedule a video visitation appointment?”  You can refer to the Visitor’s Quick Reference Guide on how to schedule a video visit on the CDCR Website [place the link here to the CDCR website).  The application will allow you to schedule a time slot that is available for your video visit.  Most visits will be available between 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday or Sunday, so be sure that you are available during these times to make sure you can make your assigned appointment time.

Each video visit is one-hour long.

There are no limits to the amount of visits a visitor may schedule; however, incarcerated persons are only allowed one visit per day, either in-person or video. All visiting will be determined based on availability and health and safety considerations.

The VSA system will allow approved visitors to easily schedule their own video visits and receive instant confirmation of their request. A subsequent email from Webex will follow, indicating the confirmed date and time of visit, as well as instructions on how to join the meeting from a computer or mobile device.

Visitors will receive an email confirming the appointment within 48-72 hours after the request is made.  Additionally, you will receive a link to a Cisco Webex meeting indicating scheduled date and time and instructions on how to join the meeting from a computer or a mobile device. Be sure to check your spam/junk folder if you don’t see this email.

No.  Visitors should ensure they include all required information when making a request to obtain the video visit.  Some reasons why you will not receive a visit include:

  • Requestor is not an approved visitor
  • All required information was not included in request

Make sure to check your junk/spam email folder to ensure you didn’t miss a confirmation email.

Approved visitors who do not receive a video visit will need to resubmit a request at the next eligibility date. There are no limits to the amount of visits a visitor may schedule; however, incarcerated persons are only allowed one visit per day, either in-person or video. All visiting will be determined based on availability and health and safety considerations. It is your loved one’s responsibility to inform approved visitors of their next eligibility date.

You may join from your internet browser. Please see the Webex step-by-step guide for installation and how to use the technology before a scheduled video visit.  If you cannot get or use the Webex software, you will not be able to participate in video visits. CDCR is unable to provide visitors with any computers/laptops/cell phones to conduct video visits.

Please see the Webex step-by-step guide to video visits available on our website. CDCR is unable to provide any further technical instruction to the public on the use of the technology. It is recommended that you ensure you have access to the software before your video visit.

There are no limits to the amount of visits a visitor may schedule; however, incarcerated persons are only allowed one visit per day, either in-person or video. All visiting will be determined based on availability and health and safety considerations.

To accommodate the limited visiting schedule, all visits will begin at the scheduled appointment time, with no exceptions.

Yes, but using the restroom during a video visit will not stop the visiting appointment time.  The 60-minute timeline will begin and end at the scheduled appointment times.  Mobile devices when used by visitors may not accompany the visitor to the restroom during the video visit.  Misconduct by any party during a visit will result in termination of the video visit, and may include disciplinary action and/or visitor suspensions.

There is absolutely NO recording of video visits. Any visitors caught violating these restrictions may have their visiting privileges suspended.

If the video visit does not connect for any reason, that information shall be documented and forwarded to the scheduler(s) and the incarcerated person will continue to be eligible to receive future video visits as early as the next weekend.

  • If trying to connect on a laptop, ensure the laptop has camera capabilities.
  • Ensure your mute button is in the “off” position.
  • Ensure your device’s volume is turned up.

There is no maximum amount of approved visitors per request. All visitors are required to show identification before the video visit can begin. Keep in mind that verifying multiple visitors may decrease the amount of time spent seeing and speaking with your incarcerated loved one.  It is highly recommended to not exceed five approved visitors per video visit. To accommodate the limited visiting schedule, all visits will begin at the scheduled appointment time, with no exceptions. 

After you have followed the steps at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/visitors/how-to-use-webex-to-join-a-video-visit/ , and still require assistance with setting up a device and/or assistance in scheduling an appointment for a video visit, please contact the Visiting Sergeant at the institution in which you would like to schedule a video visit.  You can find the Visiting Sergeant here: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/visitors/visiting-sergeant-lieutenant-phone-list/.

It is the responsibility of the requestor to ensure all approved visitors are added to the request. Staff are directed to be permissive to the possibility that others may at some point enter the video visit; however, inappropriate or illegal activity will not be tolerated. 

Yes. In order to reduce noise levels in video visiting areas and aid the hearing impaired, all incarcerated people are authorized to bring their personal earphones/headphones to their scheduled visit. They will be required to disinfect them prior to connecting them to the computer. Staff will direct individuals when and where to connect. Institutions have also been instructed to ensure canteens are well-stocked with earphones for purchase.

No, the visitor must schedule separate visiting request with the incarcerated individuals.

During this pandemic, it is the responsibility of CDCR to ensure consistent application of adherence to government orders, policies and procedures in order to provide for the safety and security of all who live in, work in, and visit state prisons.

  • Visits will be limited to all eligible incarcerated persons.
  • All incarcerated individuals will be screened prior to leaving their housing unit.
  • All persons in the visiting area must wear masks that cover the nose and mouth.
  • Each video visit shall be 60-minutes.
  • Laptops and desktop computers will be set-up in designated visiting areas for the incarcerated population to access.  Those areas will follow all safety guidelines, including physical distancing. 
  • Disinfection and sanitation cleaning between appointments.

To maintain order, individual safety, the security of the institutions/facility, and operations, the rules established in California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Article 7 Visiting, shall apply during all video visits. Please ensure proper dress attire is adhered to, with the exception of color restrictions, which are not applicable for video visits. Misconduct by any party during a visit will result in termination of the video visit, and may include disciplinary action and/or visitor suspensions.    CDCR’s comprehensive guidelines for visiting are available at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/visitors/inmate-visiting-guidelines/

Any incarcerated person who violates COVID-19 guidelines will have their visit immediately terminated and will not be allowed to reschedule another visit for that month.  Repeated violations of COVID-19 guidelines may result in the suspension of visiting and/or lead to disciplinary action.

All video visits are secure. The communication is encrypted and CDCR processes ensure that approved visitors are validated and only those approved visitors may join the visit. 

Incarcerated people will use laptop computers in designated visiting areas; visitors do not need to be on prison grounds to connect to the video visits.