Many offenders count on family and friends for support throughout their sentence.

Entering an institution

Visitors must leave all personal items in their vehicle (purses, wallets, tobacco products, cellular phones, pagers, cameras and other electronic devices). Anything brought into the institution will be subject to a search.

Once inside the front entrance, visitors must present government-issued photo identification. Next, based on the nature of the visit, visitors are asked to complete one of two forms. These forms are the Official Visitor Register or the Inmates' Visitor Control Register. Once signed in, visitors must go through a metal detector and possibly an ION scanner, which can detect traces of drugs.

For more information, consult the policy on Control of Entry and Exit From Institutions.


It is a criminal offence to bring contraband into an institution (weapons, drugs, etc.). Visitors suspected of having contraband will be subject to interviews with CSC staff and possibly more testing. This could include being searched by a drug detector dog team. They could be denied the visit or be assigned to a closed visit (behind glass and under close supervision). A visitor who is convicted of bringing contraband into an institution will have a criminal record and may be sentenced to time in a penitentiary.

To ensure everyone is properly informed, all visitors to federal institutions must watch CSC's Don't Risk it! Keeping Drugs Out video.

For more information, consult the policy on Searching of Staff and Visitors.

As of October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada will legalize and regulate cannabis. The Frequently Asked Questions for visitors will help answer specific questions you may have about what this means when visiting a CSC institution.