California DCR Adds Fridays to In‑Person Visitation Slate

By CN Staff

SACRAMENTO—As part of Governor Newsom’s 2021-22 state budget, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will launch a third day of in-person visiting starting on Friday, August 13, 2021 at all 34 state prisons. Currently, visiting has been limited to Saturdays and Sundays.

The third day of in-person visiting received $20.3 million in the 2021-22 state budget in an effort to increase opportunities for incarcerated people to connect with their families and friends.

“This has been a tough year for our population and their loved ones, and we are so excited to be able to expand visiting, and ensure they continue to have critical connections that can help with their rehabilitation,” said CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison.

This third day of in-person visiting will be scheduled using CDCR’s email system for the time being. Emails must be received between 8 a.m. Saturday morning and 8:00 a.m. Monday morning of the week prior to the visit.

The online Visiting Schedule Application (VSA) is being updated to accommodate Friday visits in the near future. VSA will still be used to schedule in-person and video visits for Saturdays and Sundays.

Friday visits will follow the same COVID-19 precautions as in-person weekend visits. Only facilities in Phases 2 or 3 of the Roadmap to Reopening will offer in-person visiting. Visitors must present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before the scheduled visit. Procedure masks will be provided and 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained.

The department suspended in-person visiting at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Video visiting was launched at the end of 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions. In-person visiting was re-opened in April 2021, and it is anchored on the Roadmap to Reopening plan, which outlines benchmarks to be able to conduct in-person visiting in a safe manner during the pandemic.