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.
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.
PROHIBITED CALLS: The following rules are some of the restrictions you should be aware of regarding calls made by offenders:
Offenders are prohibited from placing telephone calls to the following (unless the individual called is a member of the offender’s immediate family, e.g. spouse, child, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, or uncle):
A. Present or former employees of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and their families;
B. Present or former employees of the Division of Parole and their families;
C. Present or former employees of Federal, State, and local criminal justice agencies, including, but not limited to, police agencies, district attorneys, Federal and local correctional agencies, Probation departments and the families of such employees;
D. Jurors involved in the conviction of the offender, and their families;
E. Judges involved in the conviction or indictment of the offender, and their families; and
F. Crime partners who are not incarcerated.
No offender may place a telephone call to the residence of a victim of the crime(s) for which he / she has been convicted, or is presently under indictment, regardless of whether immediate family members maintain the same residence, unless prior written authorization has been received from the Superintendent.
No offender may call the phone number of any person listed on a court Order of Protection which prohibits telephone communication; unless the order specifically states that the offender is not prohibited from communication by phone with another person at that same phone number.
Offenders are prohibited from making telephone calls for the purpose of harassing or intimidating any person. Staff and offenders are advised that such telephone calls may violate Federal and/or State laws. Facility Superintendents shall report serious and/or continuing telephone calls of this nature to the proper law enforcement authorities.
Offender telephone calls and telephone conversations are restricted to the telephone number dialed or otherwise placed by or for the offender. Telephone call forwarding, third party phone calls, and calls to 1-800 numbers are prohibited. Offenders are also prohibited from placing calls to wireless communication devices (i.e., cellular or PCS phone, pagers, etc.). Offenders will be subject to disciplinary action should they violate these rules.
PLEASE NOTE: All offender telephone conversations are subject to electronic monitoring and/or recording by Department personnel.
This booklet was put together as a broad guideline. Each facility is different. For specific information, contact the facility in question. Generally speaking, offenders may receive a package through the mail or at a visit from anyone who is not on a negative correspondence or negative vendor list. A package which does not have a return address will not be delivered to the offender. For a complete understanding of packages, refer to Directive # 4911, Packages & Articles Sent or Brought to Facilities on the Department’s website, www.doccs.ny.gov.
At most correctional facilities, offenders are allowed two food packages per month, and the combined weight can not exceed 35 pounds (see exceptions for TV facilities). Food packages received from both visitors, and through the mail, shall be included in the two-package limit. Food items must be commercially or hermetically sealed and contain no alcohol. For exceptions, please review the list of allowable items.
Additional packages containing non-food items such as clothing, tobacco, etc. may be received by an offender and shall not be counted against the food package limit. Be advised, there are limits on the amount of personal property an offender may accumulate based on physical and/or programmatic considerations. There are also restrictions on color of clothing.
Exceptions to the above package rules exist for offenders in Special Housing Units (SHU), offenders on "loss of package" sanctions, "reception", or "in-transit" status, Shock, Drug Treatment Centers, CASAT, and Work Release Centers. For example, no packages may be received at any time by an offender in SHU except books, periodicals, and legal materials. For specific information about these special populations, contact the facility in question.
No time limit unless space availability is limited.