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CDCR: Spend more time visiting prisoners, less time waiting in line

Prison visitors will be able to spend more time with their loved ones and less time waiting in line to see them, the goal of a new online scheduling system just launched by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

The department announced the Visitor Processing Appointment Scheduling System (VPASS) to help to reduce wait times and electronically notify visitors of any scheduling changes. The new system allows visitors to make appointments throughout the week, and can schedule it on their preferred weekend day and time, up to one week before their visit.

A pilot program of the system at Folsom State Prison showed that VPASS is more streamlined than the current process. Prior to the new system, institutions processed visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis which resulted in visitors showing up hours early for their visit, sometimes even the night before.

The new system is currently available only at certain institutions as part of an expanded pilot program. The institutions are: California Institution for Men in Chino, California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville, California Training Facility in Soledad, Folsom State Prison in Folsom, Ironwood State Prison in Blyth, Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, Pleasant Valley State Prison in Delano, and San Quentin State Prison.

CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said in the announcement that relationships are key to an inmate’s successful rehabilitation and the new system will help facilitate visits.

The visitor must first be approved to visit the institution and the inmate; they can then log onto the system at and create an account.