Implementation of Video Visitation

Frequently Asked Questions

Video visiting pilots will take place at the following institutions: San Quentin State Prison, Valley State Prison, Central California Women’s Facility, California Institution for Men, and Mule Creek State Prison.

Visitors may go to the CDCR website at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/ and click on “Visit Inmate” then again on “Facility Status.”  Facility Status will display information relative to the institution, including information regarding when they will begin video visitation.  Each institution is to update the Facility Status no later than the fifth of each month.  Should an institution implement video visiting, visiting staff shall update the Facility Status immediately.

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.

Reservations/appointments will only be taken for the first five institutions starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, and ending on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at 8 a.m.  Ongoing reservations will begin each Saturday at 8 a.m. and end the following Monday at 8 a.m. for the following weekend. As institutions implement video visiting, this scheduling timeframe will apply.

Emails received outside that timeframe will not be reviewed for scheduling and will not be rolled over to the following weekend for review; you will be required to send in a new request during the designated timeframe.

Approved visitors must send an email directly to the facility where your loved one is located within the dedicated timeframe. 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. Visits will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 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.

Email address are:

View CDCR’s step-by-step guide on scheduling a video visit.

  • Incarcerated individual’s name and CDCR Number
  • Visitor(s) name, date of birth, ID number of an approved identification, relationship to the incarcerated individual, email address, and phone number.

Each incarcerated individual may have one free 30-minute video visit during a 30-day time period. 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.  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.

Approved visitors who do not receive a video visit will need to resubmit a request for the next eligibility date. Each incarcerated person is allowed one 30-minute video visit every 30 days. 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.

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.

Yes, video visiting will take place on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day (2021), and Christmas Day.  A request to visit on an approved holiday may be submitted on the same day as the upcoming holiday, which is 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.

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.