A Visitor’s Guide


A Visitor’s Guide

Who visits penitentiaries?

Thousands of Canadians visit federal penitentiaries every year. Visitors include families and friends of inmates, and other members of the public whose names appear on an inmate’s approved visiting list.

When can I visit?

Each penitentiary has scheduled visiting periods.

Please contact the facility directly for more details.

What will happen when I visit a penitentiary?

  1. You will sign in and show identification.
  2. Your name and the name of the inmate you are visiting will be recorded.
  3. Any items you have brought for your visit will be put through an x-ray machine, and the rest will be visually inspected and then stored in a locker. Institutions can provide you with information on which items are prohibited (e.g. cell phones, tobacco).
  4. You will go through an initial search (walk through a metal detector and/or have items scanned with an ion scanner or x-ray machine). If there is suspicion that you possess contraband, you may face a more intrusive search.
  5. You may also be searched by a drug detector dog team.
  6. New visitors will watch a short video on keeping drugs out of penitentiaries.

Why is this necessary?

A safe, drug-free pentitentiary is necessary for the successful reintegration of inmates into the community.

The presence of drugs helps create violence within institutions and prevents offenders from following their correctional plans.

What will happen if I am caught with drugs?

If you bring drugs into a pentitentiary you may be charged with a criminal offence and may be incarcerated. It could also mean that you delay the release of the inmate you visit or impact his or her visiting privileges.

What can I do if I am being pressured to smuggle drugs?

Talk to Correctional Service of Canada staff. Contact the pentitentiary or a parole office and ask for help. You can also call our national drug tipline at 1-866-780-3784 to report related activity. You can help us keep drugs out.

Improving public safety is the overall goal of the Correctional Service of Canada’s plan to fundamentally transform federal corrections.

Eliminating drugs in pentitentiaries is one of the key elements of our plan. For more information, visit www.csc-scc.gc.ca.