Inmates incarcerated in California state prisons will soon have more opportunities to see their loved ones in person, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Thursday.
The CDCR has added in-person visits on Fridays, beginning July 7, an additional day from the previous Saturday and Sunday schedule.
The added visitation day was made possible thanks to an additional allocation in the state’s budget. The increased visitation options are being offered in hopes of helping those incarcerated in state prisons to better reintegrate into society upon release.
The in-person visits will continue to be scheduled through CDCR’s website.
Additionally, the state is offering free transportation to those in-person visits for approved guests. That program began this year as part of a partnership between CDCR and TransMETRO.
“The expansion of three in-person visiting days a week, while offering free transportation statewide, will allow us to meet demand at our busier institutions and provide more opportunities for people to see their loved ones — enhancing public safety by promoting successful community reintegration,” CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber said in a news release.
With the expanded in-person visit options, CDCR has decided to end weekend video visits at its adult institutions. Those changes will go into effect on July 7, as well. CDCR said weekend video visits were always meant to function as a temporary option made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inmates will still be able to communicate with loved ones via tablet and phone. Inmates receive 15 minutes of free video time on their tablet every two weeks and calls are made from standard wall phones. Audio calls made from phones or tablets are free.
Conservation camps will continue to have a hybrid schedule on Saturdays and Sundays, as visitation has not expanded to a third day. Camp visits can be scheduled through email or phone.
CDCR said loved ones can get the latest visitation information on its website, which will also be updated in the coming months.