All About California’s Prisons and Jails

Connect With an Inmate All About California’s Prisons and Jails

All About California’s Prisons and Jails

All prisons and jails in California are managed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). CDCR is responsible for 35 adult prisons in California, with 34 under their ownership and the remaining being operated by CoreCivic.

CDCR provides different options to connect with inmates at the California Prison jails. Despite having these options, connecting with your loved ones can prove to be frustrating and overwhelming. These challenges result from the stringent measures that CDCR has in place. The good news is that DoNotPay has created the Connect with an Inmate service that helps you connect with your loved one at the California prison jails quickly. Read on to learn more about this product.

Which Are the Ways You Can Connect With California Prison Inmates?

CDCR has established four ways to connect with inmates. These options are as follows:

  • By mail
  • Email contact
  • Phone contact
  • In-person visit

How to Connect With a California Prison Jail Inmate by Mail

Inmates in California prisons or jails can receive letters from their pen-pals, friends, or relatives. If you wish to write a letter to an inmate, ensure that it doesn't contain any product that would jeopardize the facility's safety and security. This includes letters planning how to escape, coded messages, hand-drawn or printed maps, photos of any sexual nature, or any form of gang communication. California prisons and jails allow a maximum of ten pages per mail. People can send children's schoolwork and article cuts from newspapers and magazines as their mailing package.

Please note all letters written to prisoners are inspected and sometimes read. Therefore, your loved one might miss your letter if it doesn't meet CDCR mailing regulations.

The best way to write a letter to an inmate in California prison or jail is by including a complete return address and forming it in the following way:

Mailing Address


Inmate Name, CDCR Number

Housing information (if you know about it)

P.O Box or Street address

City, State, Zip Code

Phone Number

(Know more about any facility's visiting day)


Use the following link to find contact information of all California's prisons and jail public information.

How to Connect With a California Prison Jail Inmate by Email Contact

You can email an inmate at any California prison and jail using the inbound electronic communication using JPay email. Once the mailroom staff receives the mail, they will print it and forward it to the corresponding inmate.

How to Connect With a California Prison Jail Inmate by Phone Contact

You can't call inmates at the California prison and jail directly. However, you can receive a phone call from your loved one through a prepaid collect through the Global Tel Link(GTL).

Collect calls are billed each month through your phone carrier firm, while prepaid collect calls can be paid through your GTL account. Please note all inmates are limited to 15 minutes of call time. Therefore, you shouldn't expect to speak to your loved one more than this timeline.

How to Connect With a California Prison Jail Inmate Through In-Person Visits

If you wish to visit an inmate at any of the California prisons or jails, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Fill out the visiting application form.
  2. Wait for the inmate to confirm whether you've been approved.
  3. Make an appointment to schedule your visit (if your loved one is held in a facility that requires you to do so).
  4. Bring your photo ID.
  5. Bring a notarized consent form if you're bringing a minor who you're not their parent or legal guardian.

Every prison in California allows visitors on Saturdays and Sundays, New Year's day, 4th July, Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving day. However, the visiting schedule varies based on the facility that your loved one is held in.

How Can DoNotPay Aid in Connecting With California Prison Jails Inmates?

It's overwhelming to connect with inmates at any California prison and jail. Fortunately, DoNotPay can help you connect with your loved one with the following five easy steps:

  1. Locate the Connect with an Inmate service on DoNotPay.


  2. Choose whether you want to locate a loved one, create a virtual mailbox, or send a personalized letter.


  3. If you want us to find your loved one, provide their personal details and the state they are located in. We'll then conduct a search on the appropriate state database.


  4. If you want to create a virtual mailbox, provide your full name! We'll set one up for you to easily receive incoming mail from your loved one.


  5. If sending a personalized letter, tell us which facility your loved one is located in and what you would like to say to them. You can even include a photo! Your letter will be delivered automatically - wait ten days for it to arrive to your loved one!


What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Besides helping you connect with an imamate easily, DoNotPay can help you solve other legal and social services, including:

What Makes DoNotPay Suitable for Connecting With California Prison Jails Inmates?

With our Connect with Inmates product, you don't have to go through the intensive measures that CDCR has put in place regarding how you can connect with inmates in California prison jails and inmates. We understand that meeting all their regulations can be frustrating, and that's why we have made it easy for you with the five steps above.

With us, you can rest assured that you'll connect with your loved one in the easiest way possible. Sign up today, and let's help you reach out to your loved one the easy way.

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