Valley State Prison Inmate Family Council

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FAQ

Q: How do I find out if my loved one is at Valley State Prison?
A: Visit the California Inmate Locator where you can search by name to find out if your loved one is at Valley State Prison.
Q: How soon after arriving at Valley State Prison will my loved one be able to make phone calls and receive visits?
A: There is no orientation period for new arrivals to VSP, so he should be able to sign up for a phone call within the first day or two and receive visits the following weekend.

Q: How do we apply to get married at VSP?

A: Click HERE for info about the marriage process.

Q: How do we apply for Family Visits?

A: The inmate needs to pick up the application from his counselor to apply for family visits.

Q: My loved one was recently transferred to VSP.  Do I need to get approved to visit again if I was already approved at another institution?
A: You do not need to re-apply to visit your loved one if you were already approved at another CDCR institution.  The approval remains in effect for two years, at which time you will be asked to submit an update form.
Q: It has been two years or more since I was last approved to visit.  How does the update process work?  Can I mail in my update form ahead of time to get approved before arriving for my visit?
A: When you arrive to visit, if it has been more than two years since you were last approved the visiting staff will give you an update form to fill out.  You will then be asked to wait while they process your application.  It usually is complete within a half hour or less, and then you will be able to process in for your visit as usual.  You may not mail the application update ahead of time, it must be completed in person.

Q: How do the vending cards work for buying food during visits?  Is there a limit to how much I can load onto my card?

A: When you buy your vending card, there are two machines you'll be using-- one to purchase the card, and another to load additional value. These machines are located in the visitor processing center.  The card is $5 to buy ($2.50 deposit + $2.50 initial value), so it would be a good idea to bring a $5 bill or 5 $1 bills to use in the first machine.  Then you can load it at the second machine using any combination of $1, $5, $10 or $20 bills.  DO NOT BRING QUARTERS!  None of the machines take coins, so make sure you have bills.  


There is no limit to how much you can load onto your card, and you can either keep the card to use at subsequent visits to VSP (not valid at other prisons) or return it for a refund of the deposit plus any unused value at the end of your visit.  If the refund is over $25 you will need to mail in the card to request a refund.

Q: I want to visit but do not have transportation.  Is there anyone who can pick me up at a local bus station?

A: Friends Outside is an organization that may be able to help visitors in need of transportation assistance.  Visit their website for more information: http://www.friendsoutside.org/visitor-center-program.htm

Q: How do I reach a specific department at the prison?

A: When you call the main prison number (559) 665-6100, you will be given the following options to reach specific departments:

 1 Visiting information

        1 Visiting information toll free

        2 Visiting appointments

        3 Family visiting officer

        4 Friends Outside 

        5 Visiting Lieutenant or Sergeant

Inmate services

        1 Inmate Locator

        2 Inmate telephone services

        3 Education services, VOC and ACAD

        4 Mail room

        5 Inmate packages, Receiving and Release

        6 Accounting inmate trust support

Administration services

        1 Public information officer

        2 Executive assistant

        3 Chief assistant

        4 CAL-PIA administration

        5 Litigation coordinator

Business services

        1 Personnel

        2 Accounting and trust office

        3 Plant operations

        4 Procurement

        5 Return to work coordinator

        6 Business service offices

        7 Food service

Custody services

        1 Watch office

        2 Custody captain’s office

        3 Central control

        4 Investigation services unit

Medical services

        1 Inmate medical releases

        2 Medical records

        3 Medical administration

        4 Mental health

        5 Dental

Career information

        1 Peace officer career opportunities

        2 Medical, mental health or dental opportunities

        3 General career opportunities