The visiting process

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Getting approval to visit

In order to visit an inmate, including via video visitation, you must first be added to their authorized visitors' list. To get on this list you must fill out:

  • Form 1279 Institutional Access CPIC Clearance Request
  • Form 0653 - Visiting Application and Information

If you are bringing a child with you, you must also fill out form 0653-01 Child Safety Waiver and submit it along with the Visiting Application.

Forms for visiting contains links to all the forms mentioned above as well as instructions on how to fill out and submit the forms.

After you submit the forms, a Visits and Correspondence employee will contact you about your application. This will usually happen within two weeks, unless there is a high volume of requests.

Please note that while we aim to process visitor applications within two weeks, the process can take longer depending on the volume of requests received by the institution.

Booking your visit

You cannot visit an inmate without first getting approval to visit. Once you have approval you can book your visits. Visits must be booked at least 24 hours in advance but cannot be booked more than seven days in advance. You can book your visit by calling the institution.

Institutional profiles page has phone numbers and addresses for all our institutions.

Things to know before you visit

Before you visit you should ensure that the institution isn't on lockdown. When institutions are on lockdown all visits are suspended. You can call the institution to find out if it is on lockdown.

Institutional profiles page has phone numbers and addresses for all our institutions.

Make sure to bring the two government-issued photo IDs that you provided with your Visiting Application Form.

Please ensure that you are dressed appropriately for your visit.

All visits may be subject to monitoring and or recording at any time.

A visit can be terminated at any time if behaviour is judged to be abusive or offensive or if there is any jeopardy to the safety and security of the institution (ie. introduction of contraband).

Inmates and visitors are expected to exercise proper behaviour. Any excessive physical contact, loud talking or disruption to the social atmosphere will result in termination of your visit. Parents or guardians will be responsible for the proper conduct of their children.

Visitor searching and screening

On arrival, and based on the nature of the visit, visitors are asked to complete one of two forms:

  • Form 0541 Register for Staff/Official Visitors
  • Form 0542 Inmate Visitor's Control Register List

Once signed in, visitors must go through a metal detector. Some institutions also have ION scanners, which can detect traces of drugs. A staff member may conduct a routine non-intrusive search or a routine frisk search of a visitor. This can occur whether or not there is a specific suspicion and can take place on entry or exit. All visitors, including babies and children entering an institution, may be required to undergo a search.

Prohibited items

You can not bring in any of the following items when visiting an inmate:

  • drugs
  • tobacco products
  • dogs, cats, or other pets. Service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, are allowed. Please also note that pets are not to be left unattended in cars.
  • electronic devices (including cameras, cell phones and pagers). Visitors are to leave these items locked in their cars.
  • beverages
  • yeast
  • weapons
  • knives
  • food, with the exception of baby formula and milk
  • lawn furniture
  • pillows and blankets, or any other items that in the opinion of the officer in charge are not in the best interest of the institution
  • paper money or more than $20 in coins, unless it is being deposited into an inmate's account and has been cleared by the duty correctional manager, upon the arrival of the visitor
  • any item considered "contraband" under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act
  • paperwork of any kind including documents and newspapers

CSC has a dedicated process to search Indigenous medicine bundles, and/or other religious or sacred objects. No officer will handle the bundle, and/or other religious or sacred objects. The visitor will handle the objects, while the officer completes a visual inspection. Should the visitor not be present, or unavailable, an Elder or a representative of an Elder (which cannot be an inmate), or another religious representative, will handle the objects on behalf of the visitor while the inspection is completed.

Keeping drugs out: A visitor's guide is a pamphlet about drugs in our institutions. It includes information about what will happen if you attempt to bring drugs into an institution.

Bringing contraband into an institution is a criminal offence and strictly prohibited. If you are pressured to do so, you can:

  • talk to CSC staff
  • contact the institution or parole office anonymously
  • contact the CSC Tip Line at 1-866-780-3784 (your identification can remain anonymous)

Other resources for visitors

Stop Family Violence provides you with a one-stop source of information on family violence. If you are affected by family violence, know someone who is, or simply want to learn more about the issue, these pages contain information that can help you be safe or be part of the solution. These pages also provide links to supports and services in your area.

Victim resources - If you are a victim of crime, we want to make sure that you are treated with fairness and respect. Dedicated victim services officers (VSO) are available to provide you with information about CSC and the offender who harmed you.

Restorative opportunities program is a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) program that offers people who have been harmed by a crime, either directly or indirectly, a chance to communicate with the offender who caused the harm.

Beyond the Fence is a virtual tour of a penitentiary. It can give you a general idea of what the inside of a Canadian federal institution looks like.

Keeping Drugs Out is a video about drugs in our institutions.

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