Implementation of Video Visitation

Frequently Asked Questions

All 35 institutions are offering video visits. CDCR will launch video visitation in phases at most of its conservation camps during February and March. Please see our Visitation Information page for important updates.

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.

For institutions using the email process, 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. Not all reservations may be accepted because of space and equipment limitations.

Using a phased approach, CDCR will be replacing the existing email reservation process with the Visitation Scheduling Application (VSA) at all 35 prisons. Please see the visitation information page for updates on participating institutions.

Approved visitors at participating institutions can use VSA to schedule a video visit eight days in advance of the Saturday or Sunday in which the Video Visit is to take place. Example: VSA can be used beginning 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 to schedule a visit on Sunday, Feb. 28. Video visiting scheduling at all other institutions should be made using the e-mail reservation process and continue to use the e-mail reservation system until VSA is made available to them. Please continue to check our Visitation Information page for announcements.

Approved visitors must send an email directly to the facility where your loved one is located within the dedicated timeframe. Visits are on Saturdays, Sundays and recognized holidays. Specific day and time requests cannot be accommodated due to the limited amount of appointments available. You will be assigned a day and time that cannot be changed. To determine the hours of your institution’s video visiting hours, please check the Facility Status at https://visitorreservations.cdcr.ca.gov/VisitingStatus.aspx.  Please be sure that you are available during the designated times to ensure you can make your assigned appointment time.

Email address are:

Approved visitors must send an email directly to the facility where your loved one is located within the timeframe dedicated at your camp. Visits are on Saturdays, Sundays and recognized holidays: New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Specific day and time requests cannot be accommodated due to the limited amount of appointments available. You will be assigned a day and time that cannot be changed. Please be sure that you are available during the designated times to ensure you can make your assigned appointment time.

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 our best to notify you prior to the scheduled visit that it is canceled.

Friends and family may schedule visits starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday through 8 a.m. on Monday for visits the following weekend. :

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

  • Inmate’s Full Name
    • Inmate 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 Inmate
    • 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.

View the Visitation Scheduling Training Video.

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.

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.

Each incarcerated individual may have one free 30-minute video visit during a 30-day time period. This includes holiday visits. If multiple video visitation requests are received from approved visitors using different email addresses, the approval will be granted in the order the emails were received.

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
  • The incarcerated individual has already received a visit within a 30-day period
  • 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. Each incarcerated person is allowed one 30-minute video visit every 30-day time period.  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.

No.  If a visitor does not appear for their scheduled appointment, it will still count as their monthly visit. The incarcerated individual they were scheduled to visit will still be able to receive a visit from an alternate visitor in that month. 

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 30-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.

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

Yes, video visiting will take place on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.  A request to visit on an approved holiday may be submitted a week prior to the holiday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Example:  An approved visitor requesting to visit on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020 (Christmas Day), would be allowed to request a video visit on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

  • 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. In order to maintain physical distancing requirements 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.
  • Visits will be conducted in visiting rooms/areas with physical distancing protocols in place.
  • 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 30-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 inmate 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.

Answer: 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.