Visitation by family and friends is encouraged and can be a positive influence during an inmate’s time in prison, as well as after the inmate’s release. Research has shown that an inmate who receives regular visitation adjusts much better once he or she is released from prison.
Directions and Mileage
Correctional facilities are sometimes hard to find and may take longer to reach than you originally anticipated. Please refer to the addresses of state correctional facilities. The DOCS website gives directions to correctional facilities from Albany, New York. Directions may also be obtained through Map Quest on the internet or by calling the correctional facility.
Who can visit
With little exception, anyone can visit an inmate, as long as it is during visiting hours, the visitor has proper identification, and the inmate agrees to the visit. Visitors are required to sign a statement indicating that they have been advised of and agree to abide by the rules and regulations regarding visiting.
Make sure you know how many visitors may visit at one time. Each facility is different. Sometimes special arrangements for extra visitors can be made through the Superintendent’s Office, with several weeks or a month’s notice. You can call the facility to find out about special arrangements.
Special Permission Visitors
The following individuals can only visit with special permission:
A person who is currently under Parole or Probation supervision.
A Department employee.
A current, active volunteer for the Department.
A current contract employee.
A person with pending or past criminal proceedings may be denied pending approval by the Superintendent.
If any of these conditions applies to you, permission should be sought by writing to the Superintendent well in advance. You must do this and receive approval before you can visit. The Superintendent may deny visiting privileges to visitors with criminal histories if they feel that the visitor’s presence could create a threat to the security and good order of the facility. Criteria to be considered shall include, but not be limited to, the purpose of the proposed visit, the former institutional adjustment of the ex-inmate, the nature of the pending criminal proceeding, and the time frame between release and the proposed visit. NOTE: In addition to the Superintendent’s approval, Probationers and Parolees also need written approval from their Probation or Parole Officer.
Visiting Days and Times
BEFORE YOU VISIT, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE VISITING SCHEDULE.
BE THERE ON THE CORRECT DAY !!!!!!!!!!
Except in cases of emergency and instances of termination, suspension, or revocation of the visitor’s privileges, the number, length and frequency of visits by each visitor will be limited only as necessary to accommodate all visitors who arrive during the scheduled visiting time.
Visiting days and times are different for each facility. They are influenced by the security level and population concerns of the facility. At many facilities, you may only visit on certain days of the week, for example, by last name (A-L) (M-Z) or by the inmate’s DIN. As a general rule, maximum security facilities have visiting on a daily basis. Medium and minimum security facilities have visiting on weekends and holidays. Work Release facilities have visiting for inmates in restriction units only. Shock Incarceration inmates have visiting every other weekend. PLEASE NOTE: Inmates designated as SHU status (Special Housing Unit) are limited to one visit per week, excluding legal visits that have been approved. Contact the facility for the specific visiting schedule.
Visiting hours vary by facility, but generally they begin at 7:30 am and end at 3:00 pm. Some may even include evening hours. Many visiting rooms become very crowded and often visitors are told they must leave because there are others waiting to get in. It is good to learn, in advance, as much as possible about the facility you are going to visit.
Contact the facility prior to your initial visit to determine the visiting policy.
I am living as a prisoner in Gowanda Correctional Facility, a repurposed mental institution—sprawling, brick and actually kind of pastoral—leased by a local tribe to the New York State Department of Corrections for the purpose of housing, punishing and rehabilitating drunk drivers and sex offenders. You can spot the window sashes here in at least one scene of The Natural, starring Robert Redford and filmed here in the ‘80s, while the place was otherwise empty. There is a rumor floating around that the tribe will not renew the lease, that the tribe wants a casino.
My bunkie, Mr. McQuinn, a disgraced 59-year-old attorney with 14 DWI convictions, now fairly levitates, pressed up against the Redford windows of our cell, attempting to stay as far away from the violence and Mr. Wood and me as possible. He knows to stay quiet and we know to stay quiet as we pitch from one wall to the other, slowly, cartoonishly crashing about my blown-steel bed. If we attract the attention of the officer on this floor or, just as bad, if we leave marks, we are both headed to the SHU, the Special Housing Unit, the Box. No questions asked.
-In the 1yr & 1/2 my son has been in gowanda I have only stayed in the Microtel motel in Springville,ny. Which is exit 55 of thruway. Not sure if there are any closer but this is the one I found and we like it there. It has a walmart across the street for any last min. things, Restaurants right on same strip and a small shopping plaza. It also has a continental breakfast in a.m. to hold you over. People there are very nice, it isn't too expensive and not too far from Gowanda or Collins. To get to those facilities from microtel you take a right out of parking lot then a left at 1st light and keep going straight on road til you get to end of road then take a left and a few seconds later the facilities are on the right hand side I believe collins is 1st then for Gowanda you turn right onto South Road. Hopes this helps someone.(lindy1059)
-closest airport is Buffalo and possibly renting a car from there ( Gowanda is like an hr from Buffalo give or take. I will also tell u how to get from Buffalo to GCF very easy.
Marriages are done at Gowanda but there are certain steps which i have no clue as to what they are because we are not getting married there. They DO NOT the have the Family Reunion Program (no trailors)
be prepared to have your visit terminated if you live within a 250 radius of the facility and drive there. When the free buses are there the facility terminates anyone who lives fairly close and isn't on a bus.
The Department’s "Call-Home" program allows offenders to make phone calls as a way to maintain contact with family and friends. The offender may only call you collect. This means you will have to pay for the call.
An offender is only permitted to call persons on their approved telephone list and may only have up to 15 telephone numbers on their approved list at any time. Phone numbers may only be added or deleted at the request of the offender. This is generally done on a quarterly basis when the offender meets with his or her assigned Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator. If, however, you do not wish to receive telephone calls from an offender, you need to notify the facility, in writing, and your name will be entered on the offender’s Negative Correspondence and Telephone List. The offender will be immediately notified in writing that you have been removed from his/her "Telephone List" and that disciplinary action may be taken if the telephone is used in any manner to contact you. In addition, your telephone number will be removed from the telephone system.
According to the type of facility, offenders are generally permitted to make phone calls every day, including holidays, between the hours of 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. A schedule for phone calls will be established. Calls will automatically be terminated when the facility specific time limit has been reached, preceded by a warning. No call shall exceed 30 minutes. When other offenders are waiting to place calls, a 10 minute limit may be imposed.
No time limit unless space availability is limited.