View Full Version : Elmira Correctional Facility- Reception and General Population

10-08-2004, 08:02 PM

Elmira Correctional Facility
Box 500
Elmira, New York 14902-0500

(607) 734-3901
(Chemung County)

Maximum Male

Visiting hours 9-3 Monday-Sunday.

Number of visiting rooms: there are 2 and access to vending room is denied to inmates, which is another room off of the visiting rooms.

Lodging: Coachman motor lodge, 908 Pennsylvania ave. It was a great place, it had a combined kithen/livingroom and separate bedroom, this motel is close to Southport correctional facility too, - on interstate 17 and not too far from Elmira CF. There was a Walmart or Kmart close by and fast food resturants.-Horseheads, which is about 15-20 minutes from Elmira, and also close to Southport. Best Western was a bit expensive.

Prison Web Site: N/A

Prison Picture: See Below

FRP available: Yes for General Population NOT for Reception

Opened: 1876, Capacity: 1856 male (16+), Adult Correctional Institutions, Employees: 721, Cost of care: $53.44 per day


If your loved one is in Elmira, in reception he can be there from anywhere from under 2 weeks to about 2 months or more untill he is shipped out to a more permanent facility depending on his security classification. You can visit an inmate in reception after 5 business days.

If your loved one is in reception, he can only recieve a package after his first 30 days there..

If your loved one is in general pop not reception, they are allowed to recieve 2 packages from home, not to exceed 20 pounds per year, then the packages have the same stipulations as all other facilities, no food that require refridgeration, nothing that exceeds 16oz. and nothing that is not hermetically sealed. They may recieve packages from vendors as many times as you can afford to send them from the vendor.

weekends and Gen Pop
the weekend visits are little unpredictable. I noticed that the first weekend of the month is usually bananas and if you don't get there by 7am, don't even bother until after 9:30 or 10am. However, last weekend, I got there at 10am on Saturday and was sent right up, and 9:20am on Sunday and was sent right up.

If you have a toddler and do not want to do the massive stairs up the hill, get there early. They usually will have a van to bring people up to the visit until around 9:30 or so.

Remember, on weekends, you have to go to the hospitality house to fill out your paperwork. You cannot go directly to visiting processing. They will notify you when you can go up. If you go during the week, you can go right up.

Plenty of lockers.

Unwrap your quarters. There is a CO there who is extremely strict with clothing so be careful not to wear anything against policy. Especially frayed jeans, anything with holes in it, layers, etc.

Oh, before you go up to the visiting area, make sure to wash your hands one last time in case they are doing ion scans that day. As you know, anything can happen with those things, so better safe than sorry.

Just a warning about the visiting room, there are like 2 toys in the whole play area, but the CO in there (she is very nice) makes sure there are always movies playing, so hopefully that can keep them occupied.

One thing I wish someone told me, if possible leave your visit by 2:45pm. You cannot leave between 2:55pm and 3:10pm and visit ends at 3:10pm. However, everyone is let out ONE by ONE to sign out... and it takes forever! One time I didn't get out of there until almost 4pm. Especially with a toddler, they may get a little impatient waiting like that.

Momma Ann
04-14-2005, 03:25 PM
I spent forever trying to run down these rules for inmates in Reception in elmira, so here they are:

You cannot receive ANY packages until the 31st day you are in the Reception Center. You cannot receive any packages except directly from a vendor until you are in Reception for 6 months--which rarely happens because this is a transition area. DO NOT CONFUSE WITH THE GENERAL POPULATION PRISON AT ELMIRA--THEY ARE DIFFERENT AND HAVE DIFFERENT RULES! If you call for information, ask the question--then ask them to look up the inmate by DIN and transfer you to the right part of the prison-otherwise you can and will get completely wrong guidance. But they are happy to answer questions--just make sure you specify the inmate DIN and work from there.

Once you are past your 30 days, you can receive as many food packages as you want from vendors only as long as they weigh less than 20 lbs. each and conform to the guidelines that follow. Food: all food must be in commercially sealed packages. No glass or metal containers. No peanut butter or jellies. No home prepared foods. Cannot need refrigeration before or after opening.

Beverages: Single packs only. No platic containers.

Bread: Double wrapped packages only. No twist ties.

Candy: No alchohol filled. No gummies.

Cocoa: Dried single packs. No marshmallows.

Coffee: Single packs only.

Creamers: Single packs only.

Milk: Dried only. Single packs.

Cheese: Sliced or single block

Nuts: Without shells.

Pastry: Hermetically sealed pouches (like pop-tarts)

Snacks: Popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, cookies, crackers, and similar items

Soups: No styrofoam

Toilet items: no toothpaste

combs-no rat tails

Denture adhesive: Cream or powder

Lotions: Clear see-through plastic. no baby oil.

Mirrors: 8X10 plastic only

Finger toe nail clippers: 2" max.

Shampoo: Clear see through plastic

Soap: Bars only 10 per month max.

Soap Dish: plastic only

Toothbrush and holder: plastic only --no electric

Food Utensils: Soft plastic only(like rubbermaid) 1-bowl w/lid one quart; Cup no larger than 16 oz. one only; spoons plastic only; forks-plastic only

Tobacco products-must come from a vendor

Cigarettes: Must have NYS tax stamp. Two carton max.

Cigarette papers: allowed

Cigars-50 per month

Pipes: Plastic only--one piece only

Pipe cleaners: allowed

Chewing tobacco: Sealed plastic only (no cans)

Tobacco: Smoking-sealed containers--12 oz per month

Eductional Materials: no stamps. no envelops. no art supplies

Writing paper/notebooks: pads only (no spiral/wire bound)

Pencils: #2 lead only

Pens: No metal or flair tips. No red. Clear only.

Rulers: 12" plastic only

Magazines: no more tha 3 months old. Limit 25 in cell.

Books: No library books. Limit 25 incell.

Chess and Checkers: no wooden or magnetic. plastic only

Playing cards: sealed packs only

Photo albums-no metal parts

Needles and thread: green and white only.

Earmuffs: plastic head strap only.

Gloves: allowed

Handkerchiefs: white only

Shoelaces: allowed

Slippers: shower only.

Socks: white only.

T-Shirts-white only

Underwear: Jockeys, boxers, winter. White only--no quilted.

Towels: no blue, black, green, orange or white. Limit 5.

Washcloths: no blue, black, gray, green, orange or white. Limit 5

Many religious items are also allowed--PM me if you want that list.

Check with your loved one if possible. They will tell you what they can get at the Commissary--and then you can fill in the rest that they need.
The stuff in italics I know they can get through the commissary.


Momma Ann
04-14-2005, 03:41 PM
You can buy a TV ($80) when you get commissary--usually after you have been there 2 weeks. You order it at the commissary and you get it a couple days later. Buy an antenna--they only have local channels in Reception.

You can buy headphones too--they broadcast three stations that change--the music stays on all night.

You can spend up to $55 for food and other stuff per 2 weeks. BUT stamps and envelops do not count toward the $55--you can spend up to $14.50 every 2 weeks on that. And your TV does not count toward the $55.

You will be able to ship all your stuff with you when you transfer--after you finish your 2 weeks of reception, you are a regular inmate--even though you are still governed by the Reception "House Rules". Essentially you are waiting for tranfer. Those awaiting placement in a max usually end up there longer.

You will get calls on one night per week and three mornings if you shower and shave fast enough. BUT you will have to have all the numbers you will be calling cleared, so tell them to your counsellor on your first meeting. You get 15 minutes per call. and of course they are all collect through

After the two weeks of orientation, you get rec 2 times per day. You also get to go outside.You can play basketball on rec.

You get all your clothes--green shirts and pants (like work clothes) underwear, handkerchiefs, socks, 1 pair of boots and one pair of sneakers. You get soap and one roll of toilet paper (can buy more at the commissary). They give your razors and toothpaste each day--you have to give them back.

to barter, they use stamps (which really means envelops they pay for with the postage--the prison posts the letters).

The weekday visiting room is nice. Tables and chairs and vending machines. BRING QUARTERS. They have pens and games at the desk in the visiting room. When you walk into the visiting room, go see the officer at the desk, she assigns you to a table. The inmates are called after you are there and seated.

All in all, the guards were pretty helpful compared to the County guys. You ask respectfully--they help. I just kept telling everyone it was my first time and they were very nice.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR --DO NOT WEAR AN UNDERWIRE BRA OR YOU WILL HAVE TO TAKE IT OFF TO PASS THE METAL DETECTOR. I saw 6 women get turned away to take off their bras. They will let you take it in and put it back on--but who wants that hassle? Also, use common sense about your clothes--nothing remotely sexy is let in--so why drive all that way to find that out? And, think about metal on your clothes--one girl who had been there many times --forgot about the snaps on her sleeves--back to the car--new shirt etc--and it is a LONG walk up and down 1 million stairs back and forth to the car.

Momma Ann
04-18-2005, 10:24 AM
We got more info on packages. In Reception, after 30 days, they can get 1 food package 20 lbs. or less per month sent directly FROM A VENDOR. They can receive unlimited NON-FOOD packages sent directly from a VENDOR. Please review the package guidelines above as they are different from general population rules.

I visited on Saturday and got to use the weekend room for Reception visits. It is crummy as everyone stated. It is much smaller than the weekday room and there are fewer vending machines. The change machine was not working the day I was there--the vendor guy came while we were visiting-but said he could not fix it. So I gave a lot of folks change since I read this site and brought a zillion quarters! Lesson: do not count on the change machines--bring your own quarters.

The waiting area on the weekend side is VERY small and they take their time calling you in--one by one. From someone who had to wait: Please think about what you are wearing. We had to wait a half hour because people went in with belts on, metal on their clothes, earrings etc. Then they had to take them off, go through again etc.etc. If you want to wear that stuff, take it off before they call you in and hand it to the guard. Have your shoes ready to come off if you know they will need to be hand inspected.

Also, if you call and get information, do not ignore it. One woman came with three children ( maybe 9-12) after she was told they only let in 3 people and one baby-lap child. Luckily, it was not busy and the ended up letting her in with all three after a while--because she had driven 2 hours.

Also, have the children's birth certificates AND their social security numbers!

The guards did not hassle us at all.

Momma Ann
04-24-2005, 12:33 PM
Bring quarters!!!!! The regular visit side (used for weekday visits even for Reception people) --the change machine seems to work most times--but I would bring change any way--and a lot if you are buying sandwiches for your loved one--they are $3.25 each!

You are the best! :)

Momma Ann
04-29-2005, 02:57 PM
forgot to add this--many vending machines call for exact change only when they run out of change (often)--and IF the change machines are working, they only give quarters. The pop is 1.20--and will not dispense if it is out of change and you do not have exact chanage--even if you don't care if it keep the nickel. The vending machines do this too--and a lot of the stuff is $.45 or $.85.I am writing to the company that does the vending machines there--their phone number is on the machines. But--bring quarters, nickels and dimes. Noticed the weekday visiting room now vends playing cards for $3.00.

Momma Ann
05-02-2005, 08:52 AM
More cautions:

We got there on Sunday at 10:30--processing was shut down till noon because it was count--so do not make that mistake--get there by 10 or don't waste your time until noon--it was not a full room situation--there were only 3 tables taken when we got in--and we had been sitting outside the door the whole time.

And again with the metal detector--please, please, please, think through what you wear. One girl went through the metal detector 10 times--would take off one thing, say earrings. Go back through and fail again. Then she took off necklace.. Then eye ring. Then bra. Then she protested she had nothing else on. "Ooops, you don't think my belt is the problem do you?? "ARGHHHHH! The next group was not better. Girl wore a shirt with metal eyelets in it and asked me if I thought it would be a problem--she was not a first time visitor. The guy behind me asked me if his nipple rings would be a problem. By that point, I had to laugh. Yes nipple rings set it off--private part rings set it off, earrings, belts, car keys, many shoes. You are holding us up from our loved ones! And if someone ventures advice in the waiting area--like I always mention about the bras to seemingly new folks. And someone tried to get in with absolutely NO id--not a child, an adult.

Momma Ann
05-09-2005, 08:34 AM

Only three adults and one lap child may visit at one time.

Hours: 9-3 But they will not let you in after 2.

Be polite to the guards and they will be nice to you. Tell them it is your first time and they will help you.

Park in the lower parking lot and walk up all the stairs.
As you face the statue, go to your left.
There is a sign that says visitors that points down a little ramp. Follow that.
Go through the doors up to the desk.
Take one of the lockers and put in anything you are not bringing in (car keys etc) It costs a quarter but you get it back at the end of your visit.
You will need to fill out 2 forms if it is your first time. Fill out one information form for each person and one visit form which will include everyone visiting that day. You will need the inmates DIN and your Social security number.
When you have the forms done, bring them with your id into the visitor processing room.
Tell the guard if it is your first time there, they will help you.
The guard will have to put your forms in the computer if it is your first visit. He may ask you to have a seat while he does this.
Then they will call you by inmate's name. Go into the room with the metal detector.
You will hand them the change and stuff before you go through the metal detector.
Walk through the metal detector when they tell you. Any metal will set it off: shoes, earrings, piercings of any kind with jewelry in them (UNDERWIRE BRAS, belly rings, nipple rings, etc, shoes, belts, change, snaps on a shirt, zippers (not in pants)). Take off anything metal you have and hand it to the guard.
After you clear the metal detector, they will stamp your hand and hand you back your visit sheet and you will go up several flights of stairs to the entrance to the visit room—it is not the first room you pass going up the stairs.
When you get to the top, you will see a small slot, put your paper through it.
After a minute of two you will hear a buzz opening the door in front of you. Go through.
There is a guard window. Stop there and he will check your hand stamp under the light and hand you back your paper. He will then buzz the door open to the actual visiting room. Go through.
Go to the desk where the guard is in the room, Give her your paper. She will assign you a table.
The vending machines are on the left.
Then you wait at the table until he comes down (about 10 minutes.)
You can walk around, but he can’t. He can't go to the vending area.
You can shake hands, hug etc.
You can play cards.
When you leave, go back to the desk and get your paper back. Go to the door. After he buzzes open the door, he will have you sign out on your paper.
He will buzz open the other door and you can leave.
They have constant drug sniffing going on, so wear clean clothes, and do not bring anything in with you.
It sounds complicated and scary but it really isn’t—I’m just trying to make it easy for you.

ID Requirements: Bring 2 IDs

State issued photo id such as license, permit, state non-driver id, welfare card, passport. AND have a second form of ID, student id, social security card, birth certificate, car registration, car insurance card etc. You must know your social security number for your forms. For any children under 18: birth certificate and you must know their social security number. If you are not the mother of the child, you must have a notarized letter from the mother permitting you to bring the child for a visit unless the birth certificate LISTS the inmate as the father.

Momma Ann
05-09-2005, 08:38 AM

Hours: 9-3 BUT there is no one to process you in between 10-12—so get there before 10 or after 12. They will not let you in after 2.

-Only three adults and one lap child may visit at one time.

-As you face the front of the prison and the statue: go to your right—at the end of the front of the building, you will see two metal doors. Go in.

-you will be in a small lobby—take one of each of the papers and fill them out—the one profile you only have to fill out the first visit—it is used to put you in the computer

-you must put inmates name and inmnates DIN on the paper:

-Put your car keys and other stuff in one of the lockers—it cost a quarter but you get it back when you come back. Leave your phone in the car.

-know where you are in the line of people waiting—one inmate's visaitors are admitted at one time--go in when they buzz the door and it is your turn

-hand your papers and ids to the guard along with your bag of change. Wait until he tells you to go through the metal detector.

-go through the metal detector

-assuming you pass, you will be given back your ids, one of the papers and you will go over to the door (bars) to the visiting room—do not touch the bars—wait till they buzz you in this first door.

-after the first door closes all the way, hand your paper to the guard through the door and they will buzz you through the second door

-when you get in the room, the guard will assign you a table

-go to the table and take the chairs off, if necessary

-neither you or the inmate can sit with your backs to the guard—but if you do it wrong, they come and tell you politely.

-the inmate will usually come down in 10 minutes.

-the Men’s room is right in the visiting room

-You can walk over to the vending machines—the inmate can’t. He must stay seated unless he goes to the bathroom.

-When you leave, go back to the desk and the guard will let you out. Leave your paper with the outside guard. You must sign it again.

-Don’t forget to get your stuff out of the locker.

Be polite to the guards and they will be nice to you. Tell them it is your first time and they will help you. They have a special system (ionizer) that will check you without you knowing for drugs or drug residue. WEAR clean clothes.

08-27-2005, 02:47 PM
The following rules set forth herein govern conditions of visitation at Elmira Correctional Facility. These rules are to ensure that all inmates and their visitors may visit in an area that is relatively quiet, so that they may enjoy their time together without offending or being offended by others.

1. Visiting hours: Seven (7) days a week from 9:00am intil 3:00pm.

Note: No visitors will be processed into the visiting room between the hours of 2:15pm and 3:00pm. Officer will announce the closing of the visiting room promptly at 3:00pm and all visitors will proceed to the visiting room #1 and inmates will proceed to visiting room #2. Once ALL remaining inmates are accounted for, the remaining visitors will be processed out.

2. Upon arrival in the visiting room, all visitors MUST report to the Correction Officer on duty at the desk.

Note: No inmates will be allowed into the visiting room until the visitors have arrived and are seated. Inmates MUST report to the Correction Officer's desk IMMEDIATELY upon arrival.

3. Visiting room seating arrangements will be made by the Correction Officer on duty. THERE WILL BE NO CHANGING OF SEATING ASSIGNMENTS WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE OFFICER IN CHARGE!!

4. Visitors are responsible for the conduct of their children, and ensuring that they do not disturb or disrupt other visits. Minors will use the visitor's rest room under the supervision of their parent or guardian.

5. Cross visiting is strictly prohibited without the express prior approval of the Facility Superintendent or his designee.

6. Any inmate or visitor who appears to be (or becomes) intoxicated or under the influence of drugs will be subject to an immediate termination of the visit and possible additional sanctions.

7. Smoking is prohibited in ALL visiting room areas and rest rooms, pursuant to State Law regarding Clean Air Policy.

8. There will be no items (photos, written materials, etc.) passed between inmate and visitor without the approval of the visit room Officers. Money must be left for the inmate prior to entering the visiting room.

9. Braiding, combing, brushing of hair and manicures will not be permitted.

10. While at the table, everyone will remain in his/her seat. INFREQUENT kissing will be allowed. THERE WILL BE NO PROLONGED KISSING OR EMBRACING. ALL GOODBYES AND EMBRACING WILL BE DONE AT YOUR TABLE. Inmates WILL NOT escort visitors to the door.

11. Vending machines are available for the purchase of food and beverage by THE VISITOR only. Food or beverages are not to be taken to restrooms. INMATES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED NEAR THE VENDING MACHINES OR TO HANDLE THE MONEY.

12. No inmate will be allowed to leave his assigned table for any purpose other than to speak with the Officers, to use the restrooms or drinking fountain, or to be photographed.

13. If it becomes necessary to terminate visits due to insufficient space, visits within a 100 mile radius will be terminated in order in which they were first established. If additional termination is necessary, those visits that have stayed the longest will be terminated first.

14. All inmates will be seated facing the Officer at all times. Visitor's/inmate's feet will remain on the floor under the table and their hands will remain above the table and in view of the Officer at all times.

15. The inmates/Visitors will clean their table off when the visit is completed.

SIGNED: S. Wenderlich, Acting Deputy Superintendent/Security

09-05-2005, 10:21 AM

Questions and answers for Elmira!

Momma Ann
10-17-2011, 09:31 AM
There is a car wash right in front of the prison, with a change machine.

I got there early because I had read and heard that you should be there before 9, since I was so anxious to see him, I got there a little too early. I had to climb the 900 steps twice! During the week really no need to get there much before 845 am. (At least when I went).

I did explain to the guard it was my first visit, he was rather dismissive and in my opinion annoyed at having to explain stuff to me.

I bought a non-underwire bra for my trip and STILL set off the metal detector. They simply had me remove the bra in the ladies room, place it in a paper bag, go back through the detector and replace the bra on the mens room. Yes ladies that is right, the mens room. Don't ask the CO to repeat himself he'll get annoyed!

I went through the two gates, back outside, through two more gates, up a small set of steps and into a lobby area and proceeded to the visitor room door. The steps to get up to the visit room are narrow and steep!

The slot to put your paperwork in is at the top of the stairs on the wall to your left, its VERY small about the size of a cell phone! I was buzzed in, hand checked, paperwork handed back and buzzed into the visit room.

It took longer for my fiance to come up because he was in the process of being moved to a different cell, but he was there within about 20 minutes of my arrival. The guards did not explain anything to me, only to him when he got to the room. I did not use the bathrooms ... after reading the sticky's I couldn't bring myself to even attempt it.

The vending machines were pretty well stocked and they were refilled about half way through the visit. The vending machine room is locked while he's refilling.

Bags of chips were .75, soda $1.50, water $1.25, coffee/tea/cocoa .50, candy $1.00, sandwiches $3.50, wings $7.00, yogurt and milk $1.75, deck of cards $4.00.

There are several microwaves in the vending machine room.

The guards kept to themselves only came around once to see if anyone wanted to have pictures taken ... we chose not to (only cause I hate that his head was shaved, lol) so I do not know how much those are.

The room wasn't completely full but it did get rather noisy.

There was a play area for kids that seemed to have a few toys, the TV/Movie was not playing, so the kids that were there did get a little antsy.

I plan on going back to see him again on Sunday, I'll try to post any differences I see between a weekday visit and a weekend visit.