Serving families and friends of Incarcerated Loved Ones at RJD
Serving families and friends of Incarcerated Loved Ones at RJD
Applying to Visit
Before an adult can visit an inmate at a state prison, s/he must be approved. To be approved, the inmate must send a signed Visitor Questionnaire (CDCR Form 106) to fill out and return to the institution. The form must be sent by the inmate and must be signed by the inmate.
Fill out the form completely. If you leave out any information, your application will be denied. The questionnaire calls for the applicant to list all criminal convictions and all arrests, even if the arrest never led to charges or conviction. CDCR will conduct a background check for arrests and convictions when processing the application and will deny approval to visit if the check indicates an arrest or conviction not listed on the questionnaire, so you should be thorough when completing the questionnaire. It is important to note that any contact with law enforcement may result in a record of the contact in the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System, and may require clarification by the applicant. If you are unable to remember all the specifics about an arrest or conviction, be as specific as you can in providing the approximate date and the cause of the arrest. Unpaid traffic tickets, outstanding warrants and outstanding warrants for failure to appear for a traffic violation WILL cause your application to be denied.
Mail the completed application to the Visiting Sergeant or Lieutenant at the institution where the prisoner is located. See the CDCR website for the address for your specific prison. Do not return the application to the prisoner.
If the application is approved, the prisoner will be notified and it is his/her responsibility to inform the visitor. The visitor does not need to bring any proof of approval with them to a visit. Once a visitor is approved, the visiting approval will go with the prisoner if they are transferred to a different institution.
Denial and Appeal
If the application is denied, the visitor and the prisoner will be notified. The visitor will receive the reason for the denial but the prisoner will not. If you are denied approval to visit, 1) you may reapply, 2) you may appeal the denial and/or 3) the prisoner may appeal the denial. If the reason for the denial is based on inaccurate or incomplete information on the Visitor Questionnaire, you may resubmit an accurate and complete questionnaire. Sometimes the reason for denial is that the prison requires additional information (for example, evidence that the applicant is no longer on probation). In those cases, you should resubmit the questionnaire and provide the additional information.
If you do not agree with the reason given for the disapproval, you may appeal by writing to the Warden at the prison. S/He is required to respond to your appeal within 15 working days of receiving the appeal. If dissatisfied with the institution’s response or action, you may refer your appeal, with a copy of the institution’s decision, to the Director of the Division of Adult Institutions or his/her designee at:
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
Division of Adult Institutions,
Attn: Director, Room 351-N.
P. O. Box 942883
Sacramento, California 94283-0001
A written response to appeals addressed to the Director shall be provided within 20 working days from the date of receipt. The prisoner may independently appeal the denial of approval by utilizing the normal prisoner appeal process within the prison.
Visiting Approval Update
Your visiting approval must be updated when personal information changes, like a name change or an address change on your identification. In addition, some prisons follow a policy of updating the visitor’s information every 2 years. You will be required to do so when you are processed to visit. This can take additional time for processing. Visiting Staff will provide a Visitor Questionnaire (CDCR Form 106) to fill out when you start to process for your visit. Note: If you have unpaid traffic fines, your visiting approval can be denied. If there is no one on staff who can run the background check, your visit on that day will not be denied.
Visiting with Minors
Children under the age of 18 are not required to submit a Visiting Questionnaire for visiting approval. Minors are only allowed to visit when they are accompanied by an approved adult visitor. If the minor child(ren) is accompanied by his/her parent, the only paperwork necessary is an original Certified Birth Certificate or an original, embossed Abstract of Birth of each minor child. If the minor is accompanied by his/her legal guardian, a certified birth certificate and proof of legal guardianship is required. If the minor child is accompanied by someone other than his/her parent or legal guardian, in addition to the certified copy of the minor child’s birth certificate, the adult must also bring a notarized written consent authorization form signed by the minor child’s parent or legal guardian expressly giving permission for the minor child(ren) to visit a prisoner. The written consent authorization form must include the name of the prisoner the minor child is allowed to visit, the name of the person who is authorized to bring the minor child into the prison, and the date(s) of the proposed visit(s). Notarized letters must have the notary stamp on the original document; it may not be stapled or attached as an amendment. This document must be updated each calendar year. Download the approved consent form here: https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/44a543fe-dd27-495d-9619-0974af092079/downloads/Consent%20for%20Minor%20Visiting.pdf?ver=1557106305776
Before you travel long distances to visit, you check to make sure RJD is open for visits and if there are any visiting restrictions.
VPASS If you are registered on VPASS, you may elect to receive email updates whenever visiting changes occur at the institution. Plan your travel to arrive at the institution before your appointment time or you may have to process as a walk-in for the day.
Contact RJD Directly
619-661-6500, extension 7900
Before you travel long distances to visit, you should call the Statewide Visiting Hotline at 800-374-8474 to make sure RJD is open for visits and if there are any visiting restrictions.
To find out the days and visiting hours for the institution you are going to visit, call the Visitors’ Information number (800-374-8474) and follow the directions given on the recording to find the prison you wish to visit or visit the CDCR website. In addition to providing information regarding days and hours for visiting, the Hotline and CDCR website will provide information on lockdowns, medical quarantines, or other circumstances affecting visiting, addresses, and directions to the institution.
Most inmates may receive contact visits. Contact visits allow the inmates to sit together with the visitors and have limited physical contact (a brief kiss and/or hug at beginning and end of visit, hold hands during the visit). These visits occur in large visiting rooms with many other inmates and visitors. The rooms are furnished with tables and chairs. Contact visits are restricted to five (5) visitors at a time. Contact visits are not limited in duration except for normal visiting hours or terminations caused by overcrowding.
Inmates who are segregated for disciplinary or other reasons (i.e., Administrative Segregation or “in the hole”) or are on Death Row are restricted to non-contact visits. Non-contact visits occur with a glass partition between the prisoner and the visitors. The inmate is escorted in handcuffs by staff to the visit. The handcuffs are removed only after the prisoner is secured inside the visiting booth; thus, parents who do not wish to have children see the inmate in restraints should wait away from the booth or glass partition until the prisoner is settled. Non-contact visits are restricted to three (3) visitors, including minors, and are usually limited in time to one (1) hour, depending on the prison and the reason for the non-contact status of visits.
Visiting with Minors
If a inmate has been convicted of certain criminal acts against a minor, that child victim is not allowed to visit the inmate. Other restrictions on minor visits may be in place, including required non-contact visits if you are accompanied by minors who are not victims. If you are unsure, you should speak with one of the visiting staff before bringing a minor for a visit.
When a inmate is seriously ill or injured, he/she may be hospitalized, in either a prison hospital or a community hospital. Visits with hospitalized inmates are only considered for inmates having life threatening or critical injuries or illnesses. These special visits are restricted to immediate family members with current approval to visit at the institution. Requests to visit at a community hospital must be approved by the Warden and attending physician. Visitors should make requests to visit by contacting the Warden’s office
What to Wear
The allowable dress code for California prisons can be found in the CDCR Department Operations Manuel (DOM).
The dress code is somewhat subjective by the visiting staff, so if you feel you are complying with the dress code but asked to change clothing, please let a member of your local IFC know so it can be addressed. The key is to dress conservatively. Do not wear any blue denim. It is recommended that you avoid solid blue in any shade for shirts or pants. Title 15 states that you may not wear anything resembling what an inmate wears to visiting. Visitors shall remain fully clothed when visiting! Visitors must go through metal detection device(s) successfully. No underwire bras, zippers are ok, however, some pants have metal rivets that may not clear. Jewelry is ok, however, at times you may need to be removed to clear metal detectors. Hats, gloves & scarves only allowed Oct through March, unless a medical note from doctor is provided.
Appropriate Attire includes:
Prohibited attire consists of, but is not limited to, the following:
Medical devices which are required by a physician may be allowed in visiting under certain conditions. Devices such as a wheel chair, pacemaker, insulin pumps, or life-sustaining medication may be allowed with a note from your physician. If the medical device is needed permanently, send the note from your physician with an explanation of the medical need to the Warden’s Office. Explain the need for the device. Once the Warden approves, a note will be placed in your visiting record and you will be allowed to have the device with you. The approval must be renewed once a year. Do not wait until you arrive for your visit to take care of this. Get it approved in advance.
Prescription medications that are life-sustaining or condition-stabilizing, such as inhalers or nitroglycerin; medications must be in the original pharmacy container with the patient’s name, the pharmacy name, and the doctor’s name, as well as the medication’s name. Quantities of medication are limited to what may be needed during the visit.
Mobility devices such as canes, crutches, and wheelchairs; some prisons do not allow personal canes, crutches, or wheelchairs to be taken into visiting but will be inspected by a CO.
Hats with documentation that they are medically necessary.
Seat cushions or backs with documentation that they are medically necessary.
If you have an implant or prosthetic device that includes metal and will set off the metal detector, you must have documentation from a doctor specifying the nature and location of the implant or device. With such documentation, staff will use a wand to sweep your body instead of the metal detector to ensure security. Be careful that the backs of buttons do not have metal. Shoes will need to be removed during this process as well as all jewelry.
What You Can Bring
Money: Visitors are allowed to bring $50 per adult visitor and $20 per minor visitor. Money must be in one, five dollar bills and quarters only. There is a change machine located outside visitor processing, however, it’s a good idea to come prepared. Visiting Staff will not be able to make change for you.
Visitors are allowed to purchase tokens for photos taken with their Loved One during visiting. Visitors may purchase photo tokens when you are processed in at the Visitor Center. Each token is $2.00, one token is required per picture taken. The token machine is located in the Visitor Processing Center. Tokens are taken to the visiting room to purchase pictures. No refunds are permitted.
What to Bring:
Visitors are permitted to take the following items into the visiting area:
Photographs and Documents
Photographs, papers, or documents permitted into the visiting area for the inmate’s examination and shall be retained by the visitor and carried from the visiting room and the institution/facility at the conclusion of the visit. A purchased photograph taken in the visiting room may be taken by the inmate at the conclusion of the visit. Photographs, papers, or documents require inspection and approval by institution/facility designated staff. For additional information on bringing documents and photographs into visiting, please refer to this : https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/44a543fe-dd27-495d-9619-0974af092079/downloads/Allowed%20Documents%20in%20Visiting.JPG?ver=1557109435458
The CDCR has published guidelines to help make it easier to Visit their Loved Ones who are incarcerated. You can view the guidelines on the CDCR website or download them here. https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Visitors/docs/InmateVisitingGuidelines.pdf
Visiting is available on Saturdays, Sundays, New Year's Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visiting appointments become available on Sundays at 7:00 p.m. for the following two weekends. Appointment slots fill up fast we recommend logging on at 7pm Sunday evening to assure your appointment request has the best choice of available times. You will receive a confirmation email for your appointment date and time.
Administrative Segregation and other non-contact visits are scheduled by telephone only, by calling (619) 661-6500, extension 7900, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you do not have a visiting appointment, you will be processed into visiting as time permits. For more visiting information, please visit the CDCR Visitor's webpage, at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Visitors/.
VPASS is the only approved online appointment system used by all California prisons and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make appointments online. VPASS is available in both English and Spanish. Appointment slots are in 30-minute increments. (A “slot” is an appointment for a single visitor. If there are two adults visiting one prisoner, that is two slots.)
To make an appointment using VPASS, you must register for an account. For more information and tutorials, visit the VPASS website. If you make an appointment, but change your plans, please cancel the appointment so the spot becomes available for others who would like to visit. If there are no appointments available when you try to make your appointment, check back frequently as the site is real-time and slots become available if appointments are cancelled. When you visit, YOU MAY BRING YOUR PRINTED VPASS CONFIRMATION WITH YOU, HOWEVER IT IS NOT REQUIRED.
NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT ARRIVE ON TIME FOR YOUR SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT, YOU WILL BE PROCESSED AS A WALK-IN.
Dress appropriately for inclement weather. Then you will go into the Visitor Processing Center and begin the process of checking in. You may be asked to fill out a form with your Loved One’s information and your information or you may just be called to than officer. Have your ID, your children’s birth certificates, and your paperwork (if provided to you) filled out and ready. You will present your ID that you used on your visiting approval form and the officer will verify that you are an approved visitor. You will receive a CDCR Form 1000 and you will be directed to go through security before you can proceed to the visiting room. The visiting staff will record the items you are bringing in and inspect your garments to make sure you are in compliance with the regulations. If you are wearing something that is not approved, you will be asked to change your clothing to something appropriate. All prisons have a trailer located outside the Visitor Processing Center called Friends Outside. They have acceptable clothing that you can change into for your visit.
At the processing counter, you will be asked to remove your shoes, belts, and any other metal items which could set off the metal detector. All your items will be inspected and you will walk through the metal detector. Once through, your arm will be stamped with a stamp which you must show when you check out for the day. After you have completed the screening, you will proceed through the gates and to the Visiting area where there may be additional check-in processing with the officers there.
At the conclusion of your visit, you must go through the opposite process to leave the prison. Your ID will be returned to you and you will be asked to show each item you brought into the prison such as glasses, clear bag, jacket, etc. You will be asked to display the stamp on your arm and your ID will be verified against your Form 1000 before you will be able to leave. Processing out at the end of the visit day can take a long time, so to avoid having to wait in long lines, you may want to plan to end your visit a few minutes before the end of the day.