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Oregon Prison & Jail Visitation, Phones, Packages & Mail Topics / Information relating to the Oregon Department of Corrections and local / county Jail visitation, phone calls, mail, inmate care packages, etc.

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  #1  
Old 09-16-2018, 07:13 PM
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Default How to visit at... specific Oregon Prisons

This thread is for detailed descriptions of how to visit at various institutions in Oregon.

This is not the visiting rules. The very short version of visiting rules is: bring in nothing that is not allowed; don't wear blue or anything sheer (some places interpret this as "white"); don't show too much leg or cleavage (if the neckline goes below the highest point of your armpit, that is "too much cleavage"); no tank tops/spaghetti straps/or tight clothing such as yoga pants. For the long version, refer to the OAR on Visiting Inmates here: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/...eVrsnRsn=41318 (clothing is about halfway down the page).

If you have questions, please post them as a separate post. People will answer if they can.

If you would like to contribute to this thread, please enter the name of the institution as the title of your thread. At the top of the thread, please list the name again, and underneath that, the last date you visited at that institution in [month, year] format.

Give the visiting information that you have in as much detail as possible to help new people who have never gone to that institution before.

If you have "Items to be aware of" that aren't technically part of 'how to visit' but are useful, please list those at the end of your post.

I hope this thread will eventually fill out with all the prisons in Oregon so that new people will have a less stressful time visiting their loved ones.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:15 PM
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Default Oregon State Penitentiary (GenPop)

Oregon State Penitentiary
September 2014

(See the separate sticky post on how to visit an inmate in the infirmary/hospice)

Remind yourself of why you’re there. Keep reminding yourself as needed.

The visitor’s parking lot is in front of the main (oldest) part of the building and is clearly marked. Do NOT leave anything in your car. Historically, cars have been broken into.

Walk up to the doors that are flanked by the double stairways and look really old. Enter the visiting lobby and go to the guard desk to sign in. The guard will ask for your ID and who you’re there to visit. Once you’ve signed in, take a seat.

You’re allowed to take the following into the visiting room: your ID (required), your locker key, and $20 in quarters/dollar coins for the vending machines. Note that you cannot take in watches or car keys or anything with a battery in it. Put all of the above in a clear see-through container (ziplok baggie or similar). Put your car key/wallet/watch/purse etc into a locker.

When enough people have been gathered (15? I think?) you’ll be called by name to go through the metal detector. You’ll be met on the other side by a guard who will escort you all the way to the visitors’ room. You’ll pass through at least two sally ports (locking barred door, then a bit of space, then a second locking barred door). This can be intimidating. Remind yourself of why you’re there. The building was the first Oregon prison built by DOC and it shows.

They’ll lead you down a ramp and along a hallway to just outside the visitors’ room. They’ll open the door for you to enter. There is no assigned seating, so find a table with the necessary number of chairs.

There are a lot of vending machines throughout the room and a fair number of games/cards.

When visitation is over, a guard will escort you back through the sally ports and up the ramp.

LISTEN TO THE GUARD who is leading you. Do whatever s/he says. Not only is this to keep the guard calm, but those sally port doors are really dangerous and can take a limb off.

I only visited in the visiting room three times, and my father was very ill at the time, so I didn’t notice much other than that it is big, it is loud, and it is cramped. It’s also very much like a dungeon and is pretty dismal. Remember why you’re there.

Items to be aware of:
- there are bathrooms in the visiting lobby – prepare to meet 1920’s technology.
- there is a bathroom for inmates in the visiting room, and a bathroom for visitors. It is not the same bathroom. Make certain you use the correct one. If in doubt, ask a guard.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2018, 07:17 PM
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Default Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI)

Oregon State Correctional Institution
July, 2018

If you arrive more than 30 minutes before visitation begins, they won’t let you into the parking area and will make you leave. People typically pull under the bridge (you’ll see it) and wait on the shoulder of the road. People will get really upset if you try to “cut in line” or bypass those who waited under the bridge, so if you see a long train of cars entering the driveway, let them all go first. Don’t wait on the side of the road in line-of-sight of the prison, it makes the guards nervous.

As you drive up the driveway, there’s a stop sign with a speaker. Stop at the stop sign, and wait until the guard calls down “Can I help you?” Tell them “X for visitation, Y adults and Z children” where X is the total number of visitors, Y is the number of adult visitors and Z is the number of minor visitors. For instance, if hubby and I go visit, we say “Two for visitation, two adults and no children.” The guard will tell you to take Y tickets (the number of adults). Pull a little forward and push the lever down on the ticket dispenser. Take the number of tickets he told you to take.

After you have your tickets, make an immediate left and drive to the back (top) of the parking lot. You can stand outside or wait in your car. Your car is in line of sight of a guard tower, so it’s pretty safe to leave things in your car, but make sure everything is out of sight.

Eventually, the guard will call down via loudspeaker “Visitors with tickets number X through (X + 10) may now enter the gatehouse.” (They call down in 10 person increments – if your party is split, wait for the later number).
WALK down to the gatehouse (they’ll yell at you if you run) and stay on the sidewalks and painted crosswalks.

Inside the gatehouse, there’s an ATM, a change machine and lockers (a quarter each). There’s also a small bathroom.

You’re allowed to take the following into the visiting room: your ID (required), your car key (just one key, not the entire key ring), $20 in quarters/dollar coins for the vending machines. Put all of the above in a clear see-through container (ziplok baggie or similar).

Stand in line. When it’s your turn to go through the metal detector, place your bag of coins/car key and your ID (loose) in the plastic container the guard hands you. Put anything that you think might set off the metal detector in the same container (jewelry, watches, belts etc). Put your shoes on the counter with the container if your shoes are going to set off the detector (most do). Go through the metal detector.

Your ID will be passed to another guard and they’ll stamp the back of your hand with a blue light ink. The other guard will ask you who you’re there to see. The guard will hand you back your ID once everything’s clear in the computer system. Wait by the door into the front yard of the prison.

When they have enough people, they’ll open the door into the yard. Stay on the sidewalk and follow it to the left (you’ll see the visitor’s center to your left when you exit the gatehouse). Walk up to the door. If someone is not going through it at the same time as you, wait until you hear the door unlock (it’s LOUD, you’ll probably jump), then enter the visitor’s room.

At the guard station, when you enter the visiting room, there’s a sign-in sheet. Sign in there before entering the room proper. Your inmate will enter the room from the opposite end of where you came in. Above the tables are signs that say Section 1, Section 2, Section 3 and Section 4. Section 1 is for 1 visitor, Section 2 is for 2 visitors, 3 for 3, and Section 4 is the handicapped visiting section. Find a spot in the correct section then look around – make sure you’re sitting on the same side of the tables as the other visitors. Visitors all sit on one side, inmates all sit on the other, and you’re crammed together. People try not to listen in on other’s conversations, but be aware that it’s easy to hear even if you’re trying not to.

Sometimes it can take a while, but if it’s been more than 15 – 20 minutes and your inmate hasn’t come into the room yet, go ask the guard at the guard station. Make sure you know how long it’s been before asking, because the guard may check against the sign-in sheet to verify that you’ve really been waiting that long.

They’ll announce when visitation is finished. When you enter the gatehouse on your way back out, you’ll have to show them your stamp on the back of your hand. They stamp the right hand for morning visits and the left hand for afternoon visits.

Items to be aware of:
- the inmates are not allowed too near the vending machines. They can stand in line with you up to a certain point, but then they have to stay outside the theater ropes.
- there is no bathroom for inmates. If they need to use the bathroom, they’ll have to end their visitation session (and they’ll be strip searched). Something to keep in mind if they want coffee or cokes.
- if you need to go to the bathroom, approach the guard station where you entered the visiting room and ask for the key.
- there are several vending machines (4 or 5) located on the “back” wall, and they’re spotty as to whether they’re working or not. One of them does brewed coffee that isn’t too shabby (it’s actually brewed like a Keurig, not the syrup and hot water stuff that can strip paint).
- The metal detector is really finicky and may go off. Typically the guards have you walk through it sideways like a crab. I set it off every time and I typically wear shoes with no metal, pants with no metal, shirts with no metal, and a bra with 2 lone hooks. I don’t believe it’s the bra necessarily, because a lot of male visitors have to go through it sideways also.
- It can be outrageously loud in there on weekends.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:18 PM
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Default Santiam Correctional Institution

Santiam Correctional Institution
August 2018

Drive into the parking lot and park in the area closest to the gate in the fence. Push the button to get someone to open the gate for you if no one is out there.

You’re allowed to take the following into the visiting room: your ID (required), your car key, and $20 in quarters/dollar coins for the vending machines.

Enter the lobby-ish area. A guard will ask for your ID and who you’re there to see. You’ll all stand around until everyone is inside, then you’ll hand the guard your bag of coins/ID and go through the metal detector.

You’ll enter the chow hall. This is where visitation occurs. The tables may still be wet from being wiped down after breakfast/lunch.

There are two vending machines and not much selection. Don’t go in hungry.

They have one bathroom break for visitors – I’m not sure if inmates get one at the same time or not. You’ll be herded out of the room, then back into the room, and you’ll use the bathrooms in the lobby-ish area that you entered through.

This is pretty laid back as far as visiting goes. Inmates and visitors can move around freely as long as inmates don’t touch any money. You’ll be sitting at the chow tables, which are round tables with 4 stools attached. They aren’t comfortable for long times, so it’s nice to be able to move a bit.
I’ve only visited there once, and will probably only visit one more time as my friend will be releasing soon, so I don’t have much to add. If you’ve visited at any other prison, this will seem like Kindergarten to you.

Last edited by GingerM; 09-18-2018 at 05:36 AM.. Reason: corrected misleading typo
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:20 PM
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Default Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI)

Snake River Correctional Institution
September, 2018

Turn into prison driveway. Turn into 1st driveway on right. That’s visitor’s parking.

Do NOT leave anything in your car. Historically, cars have been broken into. The parking lot is not overseen by a guard tower.

Walk to the Visitor’s entrance (clearly labeled). If you show up earlier than visitation, you can stand in the vestibule, but you won’t be able to go inside the building, so you might want to wait in your car depending on how long the line of people is.

When you enter the visiting lobby, go to the table on the left to sign in. There are little slips of paper you have to fill out. You’ll write in the names of the visitors, the make/model/color of car you drove in, and the inmate’s name you’re there to visit. Take your sign-in slip and your ID and give them to the guard at the counter next to the metal detector.

The guard will call out your inmate, and give you back a locker key (no charge) and a little white box containing your ID(s). Go to the lockers and put everything you aren’t going to take into visitation in the locker (purse, keys, etc). Note that any clothing you wear into the visiting room has to remain on the entire time you’re there – leave your coat in your locker if you don’t want to have to wear it the entire time. The facility has decent HVAC, so it’s unlikely you’ll freeze or broil.

You’re allowed to take the following into the visiting room: your ID (required), your locker key, $15 in quarters/dollar coins for the vending machines, your DEBIT CARD (the vending machines take coins or debit cards – with the prices, you’ll need a debit card if you want more than a single drink) and DRINK TICKETS (if you purchased them for the café).

Put all of the above in a clear see-through container (ziplok baggie or similar) and put that in the white plastic box the guard gave you. Put anything that you think might set off the metal detector in the same box (jewelry, watches, belts etc). Put the white box on the counter to the right of the metal detector along with your shoes if your shoes are going to set off the detector (most do). Go through the metal detector.

The guard will hand you back the white box with your stuff and stamp the back of your hand with blue light ink. Reassemble yourself and go into the waiting room. When enough people have entered, they’ll close and lock the big metal door. Don’t stare at the guard inside the dark room, and don’t touch the doors.

When the first inmate arrives, the other big metal door will open. Stay seated until the last name of your inmate is called, then walk directly through the open door. Your inmate will already be in the room, standing at a table. The tables each have an ID on them, and your inmate is assigned his table by a guard, so don’t consider moving to another table.

They’ll announce when visitation is finished. You’ll have to show them your stamp on the back of your hand. They stamp the right hand for morning visits and the left hand for afternoon visits.

Items to be aware of:
- the inmates have to remain seated the entire time. If they get up, they get in trouble.
- there is one bathroom break for inmates, and it’s done in rotation, so they don’t all leave at once.
- if you need to go to the bathroom, approach the guard station at the ‘back’ of the visiting room. You’ll have to sign out the key. The guards allowed me to use the men’s room, but not all guards are the same.
- If you want a decent cup of coffee or chai, there is a café inside the visiting room. You have to purchase tickets in the visitor’s lobby from a machine next to the change machine. The tickets cost $1/ticket and the drinks are 2 – 3 tickets per drink, depending on what you get. The people who make the drinks will bring it to your table, so be ready to tell them your table number when you place your order. It’s actually pretty decent coffee, but they don’t have anything decaf.
- there are several vending machines (4 or 5) located on the wall with the café. One of them has sandwiches and breakfast pastries.
-there are bathrooms in the visitor’s lobby that you can use. The guards prefer that you use them before you put your stuff in the locker, otherwise they have to check everything in your clear bag carefully.
- I did not have any problems with the metal detector and a 2-hook bra (non-underwire). Not sure if 3 or more hooks would set it off.
- The guards were pleasant and seemed reasonable. I’ve only visited there once, but will be going again in the future most likely. The visiting room is the nicest I’ve seen and isn’t outrageously loud. They have a good selection of games and cards and bibles.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:46 AM
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Default Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI)

Please note there is a large employee parking lot and you do not want to attempt to park there. There are some handicap parking spots to the left when you cross the tracks. The parking lot for visitors is down by the Blue Mountain Community College baseball field. Cross the RR tracks and follow the road to the right. You will walk back up hill to the front door of EOCI. Stay off the grass. When you enter the front door there will be a sign up sheet to the right in the foyer. If it's not there the guard will instruct you to get in line to sign in. EOCI does not turn away visitors based on space. They get extra tables and chairs out if necessary. Listen carefully for the guard to call your loved one's last name. It could possibly be called twice. Once to sign in and then once to go back and visit. There is plenty of room for all visitors to remain in the indoor waiting area. No one waits outside in the cold or heat unless they choose to. Call the institution at 541-276-0700 to listen to visiting specifics. It is a very useful recording. There is also a shelf in the foyer that has handmade items for sale. Once inside, the guards prefer the side nearest the children's corner to fill up first. It's a nice play area but can get a little noisy. If that bothers you (it can us sometimes) then wait a little longer to sign in so you get a table a little further away. Sometimes the guards will switch table occupants around to accommodate a visiting child who might benefit from the play area. The visiting room is well lit and cheery. There is mosaic artwork done by AICs as well as murals. Sometimes they decorate for different holidays. There are games and plenty of vending machines. Morning visit is 8:30 to 11:15 and afternoon visit is 1:00 to 4:00. I believe signup sheets go out at 7:30 and 11:30. Here's a tip. If you are going to visit both times in one day you might want to think about being in the front of the line to leave so you can get your name more towards the top on the 2nd visit for the day sheet. All you do is get up from the table and head over to the door and wait. I'd say by about 11:05 you should start thinking about it. If you are hesitant about this just keep an eye on the door and wait for someone else to do it and then go get behind them. You could get in 1 group quicker for the afternoon visit! I, personally, have only had one bad visit there. One guard was really being a stickler about my shirt (a modest mother) that day and it took 3 shirts. Always bring extra clothes in with you. You will get assigned a locker key. I really think EOCI is a very nice place to visit. The guys always look clean and neat and better than some of the visitors. The climate of the visitor's room is good. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:00 PM
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Default Two Rivers Correctional Institute (General Pop)

Two Rivers Correctional Institute
August 2018




The visitor’s parking area is the last two rows, on the South end of the parking lot the furthest away from the prison entry. There will be two street signs showing visitor parking. The rest of the lot is for prison staff. Don't park in their spots. The admin building will be to your left, west of the visitor parking. The minimum security unit and minimum security unit yard will be on your right. Walk straight North to the main building. There are some disabled parking spots directly in front of the visiting area entrance. As you approach the entrance and the disabled parking spaces, there will be an outside track. Continue across the track to the building. There will be two doors. The one you are going to is the door to the right, or East door. There will be a buzzer. Sometimes it is working, if you wait a while you can knock also. They may you leave you outside the door for several minutes for who knows what reason.


Enter the visiting lobby and go to the guard desk to sign in. The guard will ask for your ID and ask who you’re there to visit. Sign the visitors log, get your ID back, and ask for a token for the locker. Sometimes they assign lockers, sometimes they don't.



You’re allowed to take the following into the visiting room: your locker key, and $20 in quarters/dollar coins for the vending machines, and 5 pictures or printouts of pictures on a home printer. If you bring pictures, you must show them to the guard. They have to approve them. You cannot take in car keys, ID, currency or anything other than the locker key, quarters, and pictures. They do allow you to wear watches, jewelry, glasses here. Put your car key/wallet/watch/purse etc. into a locker. Put the token in the slot inside the he locker, close the door, turn and remove the key.

After you have placed your items in the locker, tell the guard what locker number you have. They will write it down and ask for your number on the way out. At this time, you may buy a photo ticket from a machine. The ticket allows you another hug and a picture.

There will be two bathrooms to use. You are better off changing before you get there, they are dirty. Don't wear blue under any clothing either, i.e. sweatpants over jeans or a jacket over a blue shirt. Leave blue clothes in your car or the locker. If you forget, there is a Walmart nearby to buy something cheap. Occasionally, the guards may have something left by other visitors you can wear, but don’t count on that.

If there are many visitors, they will give you a number and you can wait on the benches until called. Sometimes it is easier if you are a frequent visitor to come an hour into a session to avoid having to wait.

If there are only one or two visitors, you can go through the metal detector and wait on the bench between the first security door and the metal detector.


The guard will stamp your hand. Don’t wash this off. They check this on the way out to confirm that you are not a prisoner.

At this point you, will be waiting until the guards have someone to take you back. You will go through a series of security doors and gates to control access to different areas of the prison.

If it is your first visit, it’s best to be the last in line and follow other people. In general, try to stay back away from the security doors before they open. Stay to the left and give the guards physical space, standing off to their side.

After the first door opens, you will line up to the left on the wall and have your hand stamp checked under a lamp by the guard. Then move forward and wait for the guard to open the next door. Next, you will be outside in a sort of cage. That gate will open, the guard will hold the gate for you, don't touch the gate, you will cross a sort of grass moat that leads to the main building. Wait for that next security door to open and then there will be one more secured door to go through. The guard will open this door and sometimes stay there. Turn to the right and you can open the last door on your own, it is not locked. It is in this area that you can use restrooms during the visit.

Once you are in the visiting room, approach the elevated guard desk and tell them who you are here to see. They will tell you where to sit. If you have a photo ticket let them know then so they can schedule a time for you. You will always sit opposite of the one single chair, which may be on different sides depending on which row it is. Do not walk through the rows. They ask you to walk to the end of the rows find your row and walk down the row to your seat. If you are visiting someone in segregation, there is a row of windowed glass partitions with a phone receiver at one end of the room.

When your loved one walks in, they will have to check in at the guard tower first and then they can walk to their seat. You are allowed one hug at this time and one when they leave.

There are vending machines on the left side. You can get up and buy things at any time. It is important to follow their rules, although you may see some people breaking them. Do not hand anything to the prisoner. Drinks, food, pictures all need to be placed on the plastic table first and then the prisoner can pick them up. There are games, cards, and books by the main entrance door and pencils, Kleenex, and writing paper by the guard tower. You cannot take anything with you which include anything you may have written down on the paper provided.

Depending on what day you are visiting, you may have some space or you may be crowded in next to other prisoners and their families.

If you have a photo ticket, an orderly will come get you when time is available to take a photo.

At the end of the session, an announcement will be made. You can hug your loved one. Then grab anything on your table and dispose of it on the way out. You are not allowed to take anything with you other than photos and quarters that are left.

You will walk through the one door that is unlocked and wait outside the restrooms. The guards will take groups of 10 out at a time. As you go through the security doors you eventually will stop to have your ultraviolet hand stamp checked again on the way out.

Last, you will tell the guard what locker number you have and grab your belongings out of the locker and exit the building.

Sometimes, guards have a problem with families speaking with each other at their cars in the parking lot. Other times they don’t care. They may come and tell you to leave.

If you are staying for both sessions, there is a small park and beach on the Columbia River when exiting you turn right instead of left.

The first few visits are always most difficult. Things will get easier. You will make it through this.


I know it is normal to be angry at the system and everyone involved. I would still suggest to try to be nice to the guards as it may make it a difference down the road to how you and your loved one are treated.
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