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Crime, law & justice

Visit a person in jail or prison

To visit someone in jail or prison first find out what facility they are in and the visiting hours of that facility.

Children under 18 may visit if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. That adult must provide proof of custody or a birth certificate. Children may not visit during school hours.

No more than two adults and two children may visit with a person at one time.

Each incarcerated person is allowed one hour of visits per week, which can be divided into half hours on two days, or one hour on one day. One half hour can be taken on any day; the other half hour must be taken on their assigned day. A whole hour visit must be taken on the assigned day.

People who are incarcerated have visiting days divided by the first letter of their last name.
Last name begins with: Day of the week:
A-C Monday
D-H Tuesday
I-M Wednesday
N-S Thursday
T-Z Friday

Who cannot visit

You may not visit someone in jail or prison at a PDP facility if you:

  • Are on probation, parole, or conditional release including furlough and work release.
  • Were incarcerated in any Philadelphia Department of Prisons facility in the last six months.
  • Are believed to have a potential detrimental effect on the person you are visiting, or a security threat to the facility.
  • Have had your visiting privileges suspended.

If you have been denied a visit because of one of the reasons above, you can request special permission from the facility Warden.

What to wear when you visit

Philadelphia Prisons has a strict dress code for visitors. You will not be allowed to visit if you do not comply with the dress code.

Visitors may not wear:

  • Plain white t-shirts.
  • Clothing that closely resembles an inmate uniform (orange jumpsuits, blue “scrub” tops).
  • Hoodies or jackets with hoods.
  • Hot pants/short-shorts (Bermuda shorts are permissible).
  • Torn jeans.
  • Revealing clothing or see-through fabric anywhere on the torso.
  • Mini-skirts or dresses (must be within two inches of the knee).
  • Low-rise pants or skirts that reveal undergarments.
  • Clothing with offensive or provocative language.
  • Writing across the seat of pants/skirt.
  • Open toe shoes.
  • Jewelry.

Visitors must wear:

  • Shirts with sleeves.
  • Panties or underwear.
  • If you’re wearing leggings or stretch pants, your top must cover your hips when you raise your arms above your head.

What to expect at a visit

When you arrive at the facility to visit someone in jail or prison, you will be asked to show government identification, and you will be asked for the name and inmate number of the person you are visiting.

After your ID has been checked, you will need to wait in a visiting area. (If you are visiting someone in Riverside Correctional Facility, the women’s jail, you will be transported to the facility at this point.)

In the visiting area you will be able to store your belongings in a locker. You must have quarters for the lockers. There is no change machine in the waiting room.

Each visitor will then be searched individually. The search will be performed in a private room by someone of your same sex. You may be asked to loosen undergarments so that an adequate search can take place. You will also need to go through a metal detector.

If you feel that a search was done improperly, you may ask to speak to a supervisor or contact the Community Justice Outreach (CJO) office at the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility. You can contact the CJO at (215) 685-8909 or (215) 685-7288.

It may take time for the person you are visiting to get to the visiting room. Please be patient. If the person you are visiting doesn’t want to see you, you will be denied a visit. The PDP will not force anyone to have a visit if they don’t want one.

When the person you are visiting enters and departs you may exchange a brief kiss and embrace. No other kissing or hugging is allowed. You may hold hands.