Visiting an inmate in a Massachusetts prison

How to visit an inmate in a Massachusetts Department of Correction prison

We welcome visitors to come to our facilities. We understand the importance of visitors for an inmate's successful reentry into the community. We want to make your visiting experience pleasant and secure for everyone.

What you need

Important: 2018 Visiting Procedure Changes *updated 03/23/18

Before visiting our prisons, check our facility's individual visiting schedules and procedures. These may be found on the specific visiting procedures or prison location links in the related section on this page. You may also call the prison to verify visiting hours and procedures.

To visit one of our prisons, you must:

  • To be added to the inmate's pre-approved visitor list, please fill out a Visitor Application Form in English or Spanish. Once fully completed please mail to the specific prison the inmate resides at. Mailing addresses may be found on the Prison Location Page.
  • Have a valid photo I.D., valid forms of I.D. include:

          - valid state driver’s license

          - passport

          - military identification card

          - official photographic identification cards originating from any state or federal agency including government employee  identification cards and immigration and Customs Enforcement documents.

Additional Resources for What you need

Child visitors

Children under 18 years of age may visit without being on the inmate’s pre-approved visitor list, however they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This parent or legal guardian must have physical custody and be on the inmate’s pre-approved visiting list.

Originals or copies of birth certificates or official hospital records are required for children under the age of 18 years. These records must verify the birth of the child, the date of birth of the child, and parent information.

If you are accompanying a child, but are not a parent or guardian, you must provide the Superintendent copies of the minor’s birth certificate or an official hospital record. This document must verify the birth of the child, the date of birth of the child, and parent information. You must obtain the Superintendent’s approval prior to visiting with the minor. A copy of the approved Minor Consent Form must be brought for every visit. An inmate may sign the minor consent form if he/she is noted as the parent on the child’s birth certificate.

Additional Resources for Child visitors

Visitors with prior felony convictions

A visitor who is paroled or otherwise released from Department custody must obtain the permission of the Superintendent before visiting an inmate who is still confined.  Inmate family members recently released from a correctional facility may not be considered for visitation approval for six months following release from incarceration. Other visitor applicants with prior incarcerations who are not immediate family members may apply for visitation one year after release from confinement. A Superintendent or designee may reject applications for a visit to any person who has felony convictions if they believe that the security of the institution or individuals may be jeopardized.

Visitors with necessary medications

If you are a visitor who uses life-saving medications or devices, you must:

  • Get prior approval from the prison's superintendent to bring these items

Drug detection dogs

We may use non-aggressive drug detection dogs at our prisons. We use these dogs to find and keep out any drugs or contraband.

Additional Resources for Drug detection dogs

Loss of visiting privileges

Your visiting privileges may be suspended or removed if you:

  • Use abusive language towards staff

  • Bring contraband into a prison

  • Violate any visitor rules or regulations
     

We will give you a written or verbal notification if this happens, including:

  • The reason for the removal

  • How long you will lose visiting privileges

  • The appeal process

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