How do I visit a prisoner in a city jail?

The New York City Department of Correction has an excellent website that provides useful information for families and attorneys about visiting prisoners housed in its facilities.

How Many People Can Visit?

Generally, prisoners are permitted to see up to three visitors at the same time. However, the maximum number can vary depending on space and other conditions in each jail, such as space and the number of visitors at any given time. A prisoner is usually allowed up to three 60-minute visits during a week, each on separate days. There is a visitation schedule of dates and hours that is made known to the prisoners. Visits must occur at certain times on specified days. The schedule is given to prisoners, but friends and family can also obtain this information at the Department of Correction website.

Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older with proper identification. A person 16 or 17 years old may visit without an adult but may not act as an adult escort of a child under 16 unless both the visitor and the prisoner are the child’s parents.

What Forms of ID are Required?

Every adult visitor and unaccompanied minor aged 16 and 17 must have one form of valid identification containing a clear photograph and signature. A valid identification card must be unexpired. Examples of valid identification documents include:

  • driver license with photo and signature (including out of state licenses)
  • alien photo I.D. cardpassport
  • school identification card
  • employment identification card
  • food stamp card
  • U.S. Armed Forces I.D. card
  • New York State Department of Motor Vehicle Non-Driver License I.D.

Other forms of identification containing the visitor’s photograph and signature may be judged acceptable at the discretion of the Department of Correction officers.

Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted inside a City jail: radios, walkmans, beepers, cellular telephones, cameras, electronic equipment, recording devices, weapons, including firearms, ammunition, and knives, drugs, alcohol, beverages.