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Visiting Applications and Rules for Visiting a Pennsylvania Inmate

Visitation at all of the State Correctional Institutions is an imperative part of an offenders rehabilitation.  Inmates who have more visitors are more likely to have a strong support network available to them when they discharge from prison, and in turn are more likely to successfully reintegrate with society.  Visitation has become vital to the success of an inmate's re-entry and the department of correction encourages friends, family members, and positive role models to visit an inmate whenever possible.  To make the visiting process easier for everyone we have assembled the things you need to know in order to visit your inmate in Pennsylvania:

  • All visitors must be on the inmate's approved visitor list prior to attending a visitation session.  When an inmate is initially classified they will provide a list of up to 40 names.  They are required to provide all prospective visitor's full names, date of birth, address, and relationship.  You can view the form called a DC-311A here for a better idea of what the inmate is required to fill out.
  • Offenders can make changes to their visitation list whenever they want by filling out a DC-312A form.
  • All visitors added by the inmate on this form are subject to the approval of the facility.  The prison will leave it up to the inmate to inform you of your visiting status.  At no time will a staff member inform you of this status, so stay in contact with your inmate through the mail or over the phone to see if they have you on their visiting list.
  • Minors (anyone under the age of 18) must have a DC-3113 or DC-3113A form filled out and signed by both parents or legal guardians.  Additionally, the inmate's counselor/unit manager must also sign this form.  Form DC-3113A is only for minors who are visiting an inmate incarcerated for a sexual or physical offense against a minor.
  • During the first ten days of the classification and intake process an inmate will only be allowed to receive visits from their attorney or clergy member.
  • All adult visitors must have proper and valid identification with them.  Proper ID includes a valid photo driver's license, a valid photo state ID card, a photo school ID, U.S. Passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization.  If you cannot produce any of these you can use two of the following forms of ID; vehicle registration, military ID or draft record, voter registration card, birth certificate, school record/report card, learner's permit/temporary driver's license, or a Native American Tribal document.
  • Minors must present two of the above forms of ID.
  • Never attempt to bring any gifts or money to give to the inmate.
  • Cell phones, cameras, recording devices, music devices, and electronics of any kind are not allowed to enter into the correctional facility, leave these items in your car.
  • Purses, handbags, diaper bags, backpacks, or bags of any kind are prohibited from entering into the facility.
  • All visitors are required to pass through a metal detector and may be searched to enter into visitation.
  • Tobacco and tobacco-related products like matches and lighters are not allowed to enter into the correctional facility.  Additionally, electronic cigarettes are prohibited.

Additional information you should know when visiting an inmate in Pennsylvania:

  • If you are visiting with an infant or small baby you are permitted to bring three factory sealed plastic baby fod containers, three clear plastic bottles with white milk or pre-mixed baby formula, three diapers, and a small number of wipes in a large clear Ziploc bag.  Some facilities will allow some additional items, you will need to contact the correctional facility for more information.
  • Contact visits allow a brief hug and a kiss at the beginning and end of each visit.
  • If a visitor or the inmate becomes disruptive, abusive, uses foul language, is loud, engages in sexual behavior, or fails to listen to the directions given by staff your visit may be terminated early.
  • Some facilities will have lockers available (for a fee/deposit) outside of the visiting area where you can store your personal items while you visit.
  • Visitors can bring up to $50 in small bills ($1, or $5) or in coins for use in the vending machines.  At no time can you give the inmate any money, or can they use the vending machines.  Any food or drink items you purchase from the vending machines are not allowed to exit the visiting room.
  • Drugs, alcohol, and weapons are all prohibited from being on correctional grounds, possession of these items will result in criminal charges.
  • Your vehicle can be searched once it is on correctional grounds.
  • You must arrive at least one hour before the end time of visitation.  Visitors are not processed into visitation during the final visiting hour.
  • Inmates can refuse a visitor at the time of a visit, even if you are on the inmate's visitation list.
  • You may have to wait a long time from when you arrive to visit until your inmate arrives in the visiting area.  Be patient as it can take a long time for the inmate to be called from their cell, processed through various security checkpoints and arrive into the visiting room.
  • Visitors who are traveling an extremely long distance or are not on the inmate's approved visitors list and wish to visit because of an injury or serious illness the inmate has may be granted a special visit.  Special visits must be requested and arranged by the inmate through the facilities Warden or designee.

Dress Code/Contact Rules for Visiting Pennsylvania Inmates

For the safety, security, and order of the visitors, staff and inmates, all visitors must adhere to a dress code.  The dress code is strictly enforced, and failure to follow the rules will result in a denial of your visit.  The staff of the prison will ultimately interpret and enforce the dress code.  What you wear one time to visitation that a guard let slide, may be restricted on a subsequent visit by another guard, because of this we recommend all visitors carry a change of clothing with them in their car.  A change of clothes will enable you to quickly change if an article of clothing you are wearing is deemed inappropriate.

  • All visitors are required to wear undergarments.
  • Women are advised to wear bras that do not contain metal underwire support, as this may set off the metal detector.  
  • Visitors should refrain from wearing bobby pins, hair clips, jewelry and other metallic items that may set off the metal detector.
  • Jackets, coats and outer garments are prohibited from entering the visiting room.
  • Hooded clothing is not allowed.
  • Pajamas and bathing suits/swimwear are not allowed.  This includes flip-flops, sandals, and slippers.
  • Shorts, skirts, and dresses may not be shorter than 4 inches above the middle of the knee.
  • All shirts must have sleeves.  Shirts that expose excessive skin like tank-tops, halter-tops, tube-tops etc are prohibited.
  • Clothing may not have holes, rips, or tears in them.
  • Any clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or other excessive skin is not allowed.
  • Tight clothing such as spandex and leggings are prohibited.
  • Uniforms such as military or doctors/nurse scrubs are restricted from being worn.
  • Any items that cover the face including hats are not allowed to be worn.  Face veils worn for religious purposes are allowed but they will be removed in a private area and searched by a female staff member.
  • Clothing that contains offensive language or images is not allowed.