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.
Mailing Inmates at Mid-State Correctional Facility:
Generally, correspondence is allowed and encouraged. The sending and receiving of mail by offenders will be restricted only to the extent necessary to prevent a threat to the safety and security of the facility, or the safety or well being of any person, and to prevent unsolicited and unwanted mail. PLEASE NOTE: No offender may correspond with any person who is on his/her negative correspondence list. No offender may correspond with any person who is listed on a court Order of Protection which prohibits such correspondence.
People sending mail into the correctional facility are personally responsible for the contents of their mail. Offenders and all correspondents are advised that sending obscene, threatening, or fraudulent materials through the mail may be a crime under state and federal laws. The Department will urge prosecution whenever such mail is brought to its attention. Unauthorized items shall either be returned to the sender at the expense of the offender, or otherwise disposed of. Such will be the choice of the offender and accomplished at the offender’s expense. PLEASE NOTE: Dangerous contraband will not be returned.
All mail sent to the offender must be clearly marked with the offender’s name, DIN and return address in the left top corner of the envelope. Envelopes may include your personal letters and photographs. Do NOT send nude photographs or Polaroid photos. Do NOT send postage stamps or letters from other people, except children. A limit of 5 pages of printed or photocopied materials (an individual newspaper clipping will be considered one page) may be received within a piece of regular correspondence. (Note the following exception in the next paragraph). In order to facilitate media review, pages or clippings must not be taped, glued, or pasted together or to other papers.
Not to exceed once every four months, an offender may make a written request to the Superintendent to receive in excess of 5 pages of printed or photocopied legal papers specifically related to his or her current legal matter (e.g., legal brief or trial transcript relating to the offender’s active case) within a piece of regular correspondence. If approved, the piece of correspondence must be received within 30 days thereafter.
All incoming mail will be opened and inspected for cash, checks, money orders, printed or photocopied materials, or contraband. Monies are credited to the offender’s account. Please note that printed or photocopied materials may delay the offender receiving the letter due to Media Review procedures. Again, postage stamps are not allowed.
All mail that you receive from an offender should be well marked with the offender’s DIN and correctional facility address and other clear indications that the letter is from a correctional facility.
No time limit unless space availability is limited.