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Visitation Rules & Information

ALL VISITORS, EXCLUDING CHILDREN UNDER 17 YEARS OF AGE, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, AND LEGAL VISITORS, MUST BE ON THE INMATE'S APPROVED VISITING LIST IN ORDER TO VISIT. PROSPECTIVE VISITORS SHOULD CONTACT THE INMATE TO HAVE THEM PLACED ON THE VISITING LIST

Information on this page is intended to answer questions and provide guidance for individuals who want to visit an inmate at an Illinois correctional facility.

You may use the Inmate Search function to verify the location of the inmate you wish to visit.

You may also check visitation information on a specific Facility regarding visiting hours and other information in this list. 

Please be advised, effective May 1, 2012, the visiting hours and number of visits permitted to each offender per month will change at several medium and minimum security facilities.

You should familiarize yourself with the Visitation Rules that govern behavior of inmates and visitors.

You may use the State of Illinois RouteMap system to print out maps showing the location of a correctional facility.

A State of Illinois adult correctional facility map can be found here.


General Visitation Guidelines

Visitation is encouraged to help offenders maintain ties with family, friends and others in the community.  Visiting times, rules and policies vary depending on the facility and security level.  Each facility’s regular visiting hours are listed on the IDOC website under the Facilities section.  All rules and regulations pertaining to visiting are posted and made available to visitors at each facility.  If you have a question about a particular facility’s hours and visitation policies, you should call the facility. Facilities may restrict visitation based on safety and security concerns, and during times of facility lockdowns.

Offenders in general population or protective custody are permitted 5 visits per calendar month, with only one occurring on any weekend.  Visits for offenders who are housed in general population or protective custody units except those designated as extremely high escape risks may be  limited to 2 hours on weekdays and 1 hour on weekends.  Offenders confined in disciplinary segregation status are allowed 2 visits per calendar month with only 1 occurring on any weekend.  Visits for offenders who are confined in disciplinary segregation who are designated as extremely high escape risks are limited to 1 hour.

  • An offender may only receive 1 visit on any given day.
    • Three adult visitors (any person, generally over 2 year of age, who can sit unassisted is considered an adult visitor) constitutes one visit for offenders confined in general population or protective custody status.
    • For offenders who are classified as an extremely high level escape risk, offenders on Visiting Restriction and those in Disciplinary Segregation status, 2 persons shall constitute 1 visit and the visit will take place in the non-contact visiting room. 
  • Visitors may only visit one offender at a time unless prior written approval from the Warden is obtained. 
  • Visitors who travel great distances to visit an offender may request extended visits. These requests should be submitted sufficiently in advance to the Chief Administrative Officer for consideration.

Offenders who are confined in disciplinary segregation status as a result of a serious staff assault shall only be allowed attorney and clergy visits.  This restriction shall be initially imposed for 30 days.  After the initial 30-day period, and at 30-day intervals thereafter, such offenders may submit written requests to the warden for removal of the restriction.

Visitors and offenders may submit written requests to the warden or an assistant warden for additional or extended visits.  Such requests may be approved in cases of severe illness of visitor/offender or when visitors travel great distances.  The length of extended visits is determined by the warden or assistant warden, based upon availability of space.  However, visits shall be limited to a maximum of 4 hours in length per visit.

Except for legal visits, persons wishing to visit a committed person at Tamms Correctional Center, should submit a request sufficiently in advance to the Chief Administrative Officer.  Visits must be approved by the Chief Administrative Officer.

A proposed visitor who has been convicted of a criminal offense of who has criminal charges pending, including, but not limited to, an individual on bond, parole, mandatory supervised release, probation or an ex-offender, may visit an offender only with the written approval of the Chief Administrative Officer.  A parolee currently on supervision or parole must have the prior written approval of both the Chief Administrative Officer and the offender’s parole agent.

The Duty Administrative Officer may use discretion in altering visiting time limitations.

Visitor Approval

All visitors 17 years of age and older, excluding children under 17 years of age, government officials and legal visitors, must be on the offender’s approved visitation list in order to be granted a visit.  Offenders are responsible for arranging their visits and notifying their visitors of their visiting status.  To check if you are on the offender’s visitor list, you should write a letter to the offender to inquire.  IDOC staff cannot tell you whether or not you are on an offender’s visitation list if you call the facility.  Visiting privileges may be denied if the institution or a portion of the institution is on lockdown.

On the first visit to a correctional facility, adult visitors (age 17 and older), excluding legal visitors and government officials, will be required to complete a Prospective Visitor's Interview (PVI) form, called a DOC 0148. This PVI form can be found on the Forms page on the website, and can be completed and brought in on the first visit.

Facility Procedures and Expectations for Visitors

On your first visit to a facility you will be required to complete a “Prospective Visitor’s Interview” form.  If visitors are provide false information on the form, visitation privileges may be restricted or revoked.  IDOC staff has the right to interview or request background information from potential visitors to determine whether the individual would pose a threat to the safety or security of the facility or any person or to the order of the facility.  Visitors must submit to a body search by officers at the Visitor Center.  Visitors who are intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted entry.

Upon entering the Visiting Room, the Visiting Room Officer will assign a table for seating during the visit.  No moves will be permitted once seated unless approved by security staff. Visits are subject to monitoring and recording at any time by departmental staff, unless prior special arrangements have been made for confidential attorney visits or other privileged visits. 

Visitors are expected to be courteous and cooperative with IDOC staff.  Visitors are expected to comply with staff directives and keep noise down in respect for other visitors and staff.

Visitors choosing to use the restroom during the course of their visit will be subject to search following the usage of the restroom.  All offenders choosing to use the restroom during the course of the visit are also subject to search.

Visitor Property Policy

Visitors are not allowed to bring electronic devices, such as cell phones or pagers, food, drink, smoking materials, currency, packages, purses, bags, sacks, books, magazines, sunglasses or personal keys into the Visiting Room.   Visitors may place personal items in small lockers available in the Visiting Center for 25 cents.  The locker key may be carried into the facility after the visitor secures personal responsibility for these items.  The facility will not assume responsibility for these items.

Some items allowed will vary by facility, such as diapers, tampons or sanitary pads, and if permitted, the number may vary.  Check with the respective facility regarding the institution’s policy in respect to these items.
No baby food, except 2 plastic baby milk bottles are to be taken into the visiting Room.  Baby items may consist of 1 baby blanket and 2 diapers, if permitted, are checked by the Visiting Center officer before being allowed within the facility.  No other items are permitted.

Smoking is not permitted in any visiting room or waiting room. Visitors and offenders are not allowed to be in possession of tobacco items in the Visiting Room.

With the exception of heart medication or asthma pump (inhaler) prescribed by a physician, no pills or medication of any type is to be taken into the Visiting Room.  The heart medication must be in a properly labeled container.  Medication taken into the Institution must be brought to the attention of the Visiting Room Officer.  Other medication shall be left in the lockers at the Visiting Center.  Insulin syringes must be secured at the Visiting Center and the Visiting Center staff notified of same.  Visitors will be allowed to return to the Visiting Center for the purpose of administering and insulin injection if needed.  Syringes must be removed from the facility at the end of the visit.

Required Identification

All adult visitors will be required to produce photo identification (ID) and verification of his or her date of birth.  Be sure to bring 2 forms of identification with you; one should be a current state issued photo ID.

Visitors will be required to have a current photo ID such as a driver’s license, a state ID card, or acceptable documentation of non-US citizen including a current passport, visa, or Matricula, and also provide documentation that contains date of birth.  Expired forms of identification are not acceptable.  Visitors will also be required to provide vehicle information and other pertinent data, such as government identification, official credentials, attorney registration, or law student certification.

Dress Code

All visitors must be dressed appropriately for a prison environment or the visit will not be permitted.  Clothing must be in good taste and not advertise or suggest any items in such a manner to signify a Security Threat Group or other illegal activity.  Visitors should not wear clothing that is sexually explicit, offensive, or degrading.  All visitors must wear underwear and female visitors must wear a bra.  Visitors should not wear clothing which reveals the buttocks or breasts.

Examples of inappropriate dress for visitors are: short shirts or dresses, wrap around skirts, see through clothing, see-through or low-cut blouses, tube tops, halter tops, tank tops, swim suits or swim suit tops, short shorts, clothing with “cutouts” or leggings.  Dresses or skirts should extend to the knees.

Visitors may be permitted to wear religious headgear if there is no safety or security concerns, the headgear has been removed and thoroughly searched, the visitor has indicated that the headgear has religious significance, and the headgear is a kufi, yarmulke, turban, habit, or fez.  Headgear other than those specified may be permitted to wear if a written request is submitted to the Chief Administrative Officer at least 10 days prior to the visit and the Chief Administrative Officer approves the request. Failure to submit a timely request shall result in denial of the request.

Contraband

Bringing contraband into a IDOC facility is a criminal offense as specified in the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961.

"Contraband" means items which are prohibited by criminal law, departmental or facility rules or posted notices.  They are items which an offender has no authority to possess; or property which is in excess of that which is authorized by the facility.

All persons, vehicles and items brought onto State property are subject to search.

Failure to submit to a search will result in denial, suspension or restriction of visiting privileges. 

Any visitor who is in possession of contraband, such as weapons, drugs, etc., will be prohibited from visiting.  The individual will be reported to the State Police and criminal charges may be filed.  Offenders are not allowed to receive any items, such as clothing, jewelry, books, magazines, paperwork, etc., from visitors and shall not be allowed to take any items back to their housing units. 

Offenders will be strip searched when entering and leaving the visiting room.  Any items in the offender's possession after a visit that were not present before  the visit will be considered contraband and may be cause for discipli¬nary action.  All facilities within the Illinois Department of Corrections are non-smoking facilities.  All smoking materials are considered contraband and smoking, and/ or possession of smoking materials, will result in disciplinary action.

Information about Vending Machines

The visiting rooms at the facilities offer a variety of products for purchase. Outside vendors own and operate the machines and will differ from facility to facility.
Vending machine items may only be purchased using a debit card.  Visitors may purchase a debit card at the facility, normally at the gatehouse. The price of the debit card will vary by facility depending upon the vendor providing the service. Each facility will have a limit on the amount of cash that may be put upon the card at any given time. The limit will be posted by the debit card machine.
Offenders cannot handle or be in possession of the card at any time. Debit cards are the sole responsibility of the purchaser.

There are no refunds for unused money remaining on the card for any reason other than a defective card, so only put enough on the card for the single visit. Cards are only good at the facility where purchased, if the offender transfers, a new card at the current facility will need to be used.

In the instance of a defective card or a mis-vend (charged the card, but no product delivered to visitor), immediately notify the Visiting Room Officer. They will serve as the witness of the problem. The Officer will have a form available for the visitor to complete and leave with the Officer.

Any vending items purchased must be consumed during the visit and may not be carried out of the visiting room.

Termination of Visit/Loss of Visiting Privileges

In accordance with Illinois Administrative Code, the chief administrative officer may deny, suspend, or restrict visiting privileges based, among other matters, upon the following: security and safety requirements; space availability; disruptive conduct of the offender or visitor; abuse of the visiting privileges by the offender or visitor; or violation of state or federal laws or departmental rules by the offender or visitor.

Inappropriate actions on the part of a visitor may result in the temporary or permanent loss of that person's visiting privileges.  Disruptive behavior by offenders and/or visitors, or violations of any of the rules, shall be cause for the termination of visiting privileges.  The Visiting Room Officer will have the discretion of giving one warning for a minor violation of the visiting rules but must report any further disruption.

Written notification of temporary restriction of visiting privileges shall be sent to the visitor and to the offender. Any person excluded from an offender’s visiting list at one correctional facility shall be excluded at all facilities. The notice of temporary restriction shall state the exact length of the restriction.

A visitor who has been placed on permanent visitation restriction may write to the facility where the restriction was imposed for review by the Chief Administrative Officer.  Section 525.60 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Restriction of Visitors, specifies: “Notices of permanent restrictions shall inform visitors and offenders that they may request that the Chief Administrative Officer review the decision after a six month period. After the initial six month review, permanent restrictions shall be reviewed by the Chief Administrative Officer on an annual basis upon request of the offenders or their visitors. Written notification of the decision shall be sent to the visitor and to the offender.”

Family and Friends Visitation Checklist

  • Review the department’s visitation rules.
  • Confirm you are on the offender’s approved visitation list before departing to the facility.  Offenders are responsible for arranging their visits and notifying their visitors of their visiting status.  All visitors 17 years of age and older are required to be on the offender’s approved visiting list.  Prospective visitors should write the inmate to ask to be placed on the visiting list and check if they are on the offender’s visitor list. 
  • Bring two forms of identification (ID); one should be a current state issued photo ID.
  • On your first visit to a facility, you will be required to complete a “Prospective Visitor’s Interview” form.  IDOC staff has the right to interview or request background information from potential visitors to determine whether the individual would pose a threat to the safety or security of the facility or any person or to the order of the facility.
  • Dress appropriately for a correctional facility environment. The dress code is strictly enforced. Inappropriate, revealing clothing are not allowed. Shirts must have sleeves and fully cover the chest and mid-section. Clothing must be in good taste and not advertise or suggest anything illegal, gang-related or of a sexual nature. With the exception of approved religious headgear, no hats, gloves, scarves or headbands are allowed.
  • If any special arrangements have been made with the facility, call the facility before leaving to ensure these arrangements are in place.
  • Visitors under the age of 17 years must be accompanied by an approved visitor who is 17 years of age or older, unless prior written approval has been granted by the warden.
  • If you are not the legal guardian or parent of a child whom you are bringing to a facility, bring with you a notarized visitation consent form from the child’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Do not have any contraband on you or in your vehicle when you enter facility grounds. Check your vehicle and personal belongings for contraband and dangerous items before leaving home. All visitors, their vehicle and their property are subject to search.  This includes, but is not limited to, implements of escape, drugs and drug paraphernalia, intoxicants, poisons, any items that pose a danger to others, weapons, such as knives, scissors or firearms, and any item of a security threat group affiliation. These items are strictly prohibited on correctional facility grounds.
  • Leave purses, wallets and electronic devices in your car - either in the glove compartment or in the trunk, or you may place personal items in small lockers available in the Visiting Center for 25 cents.  Be sure to lock your car!
  • Arrive at the facility during designated visiting hours.
  • When you arrive at the facility, be patient and respectful of correctional staff.
  • Do not bring anything into the visiting room to give to the inmate. Inmates are not permitted to take anything from the visiting area.  
  • Check to see if the facility is on lockdown before leaving.  You can call (877) 840-3220 for a listing of facilities that are currently on lockdown.  If a facility is on lockdown, visitors should call the respective facility or access information regarding the facility under the All Facilities link to check for special visiting restrictions due to the lockdown status. 

VISITOR ADA ACCOMODATIONS

It is the policy of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“Agency”) to comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.A. Section 12101, et. seq. (“ADA”). The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability. The ADA provides, in part, that qualified individuals with disabilities shall not be excluded from participating in or be denied the benefits of any program, service, or activity offered by this Agency. The agency is not required, however, to take any action that would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens.

The Agency is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to its visitors with disabilities. Depending on the nature of the accommodation request, advance notice may be required. Visitors with questions or requests concerning reasonable accommodation should first contact the facility ADA Coordinator by calling and/or writing the facility.​​

Video Visitation Guidelines

PILOT SITES - Big Muddy River, Centralia, Decatur, Menard MSU, Menard, Shawnee, Vandalia and Vienna correctional centers provide video visitation services. Statewide implementation is pending.

DOC has partnered with Global Tel*Link (GTL) to provide video visitation services. Initially, this will be on a pilot basis. Please check back to see updated implementation schedules.

All potential visitors must register with GTL (https://ildoc.gtlvisitme.com). Registration process will include completing a Prospective Visitor Interview Form; all visitors must fully complete this form with GTL, even if they have completed this form at a facility, any omissions of required information on the form may result in your registration not being accepted causing unnecessary delays.

All visitors 17 years of age and older, excluding children under 17 years of age, government officials and legal visitors, must be on the offender’s approved visitation list in order to be granted a visit. To check if you are on the offender’s visitor list, you should write a letter to the offender to inquire. IDOC staff cannot tell you whether or not you are on an offender’s visitation list if you call the facility. Visiting privileges may be denied if the institution or a portion of the institution is on lockdown.

All video visits will be schedule through the GTL website; do not call the facility to schedule a video visit. The visitor should check before scheduling the video visit of dates and times that are available for the offender. The facility cannot tell a potential visitor if a date or time will work with an offender’s daily schedule. The facility will inform the offender of the pending visit and arrange for the offender to be present.

In order to accommodate all offenders in a given facility:​​

  • An offender may only receive 1 video visit per day.
    • No more than three approved visitors per video visit for offenders confined in general population or protective custody status.
  • An offender may receive only 2 video visits per week, this is counted against allotted visits.
  • Visitors may only schedule one video visit per day.
  • All video visits must be schedule at least 7 days in advance.
  • Visits may be scheduled up to 30 days in advance.​
  • Only scheduled visitors may appear in the video visit monitor.
    • One visitor on screen at a time, excluding children who need assistance sitting for the visit.

Video Visitation is a privilege and is only available to offenders in general population or in the health care unit. Offenders housed in Segregation, in orientation, or temporarily housed at our facility will not be permitted video visitation. If an offender receives discipline between the time a visit is confirmed and the time of the visit, the visit may be cancelled; the visitor will receive an email of the cancellation. If the facility goes on lock down prior to a schedule video visit, the visitor will receive an email. Please see the GTL website for refund policy.

All visits are subject to monitoring and recording.

All video visits are monitored live and recorded, any violation of visitation rules, inappropriate conduct, or language may be subject to immediate termination of the video visit with or without warning. This may also include suspension from future all visitation privileges based upon the seriousness of the infraction. Any visitation that is not stationary in a seated position will be terminated. Your use of video visitation and acceptance of the rules is consent to have both audio and video recorded of the video visit. Attorney/Client privileges do not apply to video visitation, ALL visits are recorded. Dress Code policy below applies to video visitation. Termination of Visit/Loss of Visiting Privileges applies to video visitation.

  • The following conduct is prohibited.
    • Any display of nudity, including breast feeding.
    • ANY Behavior or actions that are of a sexual nature.
    • Use or display of any weapons, drugs/alcohol, or related paraphernalia.
    • Activity or display of graphics/paraphernalia associated with any Security Threat Group.
    • Unlawful activity or depiction of unlawful activity.
    • Recording or filming a visit by any visitor participant or any third party.
    • If ANY inappropriate behaviors are displayed the Video visit WILL BE TERMINATED.
  • No video visitation visits will be scheduled between 2:30pm-4:30pm due to institutional count procedures.
Additional Information for All Visits
  • General Population Offenders may have a total of 6 visits per calendar month; each visit may be up to 4 hours per visit.
  • Visitors may only visit once per day.
  • Visitors who travel great distances to visit an offender may request extended visits and/or group visits. These requests should be made in advance to the Chief Administrative Officer for consideration. All visitors must receive notification of approval or denial before and extended visit is granted.
  • Persons age 17 years of age and older must be on the offender's approved visiting list. Person’s age 10 through 16 years of age who are not a member of the offender's immediate family may be allowed to visit only with notarized written consent of a parent or guardian.
  • Persons under age of 17 must be accompanied by an approved visitor who is age 17 or older. Persons under 12 years of age may only be permitted to visit when accompanied by parent or guardian who is an approved visitor or when prior notarized written consent has been given by a parent or guardian who is in the free community for the child to visit when accompanied by a person designated in writing who is an approved visitor and who is at least 17 years of age or older.
  • Immediate family is defined as the offender's child, sibling, grandchild, whether step or adopted, half, or whole, and spouses. The visitor must provide documentation of the relationship.
  • Visitors are required to show photo identification such as a driver's license, a state identification card or acceptable documentation of non-US citizenship including a current passport, Visa, or Matricula, and documentation that includes their date of birth.
  • Any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense or who has criminal charges pending, including but not limited to, an individual on bond, parole, mandatory supervised release, or probation or an ex-offender, may visit an offender only with prior written approval of the Warden. Individuals who require such approval must obtain this written approval for EACH visit.
  • All visitors, their vehicle, and their property are subject to search.
  • The dress code will be strictly enforced. Visitors must be appropriately dressed or the visit will not be permitted at the discretion of the DAO or Back-up DAO.
  • Inappropriate, revealing clothing is not allowed, such as short skirts or dresses, wrap-around skirts, short shorts, see-through or low cut blouses, break-away pants, spandex bodysuits, clothes with holes in suggestive areas, or any clothing that allows undergarments to be visible.
  • Undergarments must be worn at all times. Clothing must be in good taste and not advertise or suggest anything illegal, gang-related, or of a sexual nature.
  • No hats, gloves, scarves or headbands are allowed. With the exception of religious headgear.
  • Jewelry that is extremely heavy in weight or that is intimidating to any person, i.e., replicas of any guns, knives, ammo, drugs or drug paraphernalia, will not be allowed.
  • Visitors may possess one watch, one bracelet, two rings (inclusive of one wedding ring), and one necklace. Any belt buckles may be subject to thorough inspection.
  • Any jewelry with names, initials, or words will not be allowed. No lockets or any jewelry with pictures will be allowed. Any jewelry that is perceived as a security threat will be denied.
  • Visitors and offenders may not exchange ANY item during a visit.
  • Inappropriate behavior of a visitor or possession of contraband may result in a temporary or permanent visiting restriction.
  • The following conduct is prohibited.
    • Any display of nudity, including breast feeding.
    • ANY Behavior or actions that are of a sexual nature.
    • Use or display of any weapons, drugs/alcohol, or related paraphernalia.
    • Activity or display of graphics/paraphernalia associated with any Security Threat Group.
    • Unlawful activity or depiction of unlawful activity.
    • Recording or filming a visit by any visitor participant or any third party.
    • If ANY inappropriate behaviors are displayed the visit WILL BE TERMINATED.
  • The Warden/ Assistant Warden may further restrict or limit visits at any time due to the availability of space and staff, institutional emergencies, lockdowns and for a reasonable period of time thereafter, or for violations of state or federal law or department rules by the offender or visitor. For additional information, contact the Warden's Office at 618-437-5300.
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