Prison visit

Visiting Federal Institutions

NOTE:  This is a personal blog, any views or opinions represented in this blog belong solely to the FedPhoneLine staff.  WE ARE NOT Psychologists or Therapy Professionals, all data and information on these blogs is for informational purposes ONLY.

There are four (4) types of visits within all federal institutions

  1. Open Visits:

An open visit is when the inmate and their visitor can sit with each other in the visiting room in an open setting.  Usually visitors can use the visiting yard in the V&C area.   At an open visit the visitor and the inmate are not restricted to any movement within the visiting room and/or the visiting yard.

Visitors can bring money to buy lunch/snack from the vending machines (chips, soft drinks, sandwiches etc.).

  1. Designated Seating Visit:

Designated seating occurs when the inmate and or the visitor were involved in an incident at the institution and are placed at a specific seat so that they can be closely monitored.

When an inmate and visitor are placed on designated seating, they are not allowed to get up and walk around at the visiting room. Moreover, they are not allowed to leave their seat/table at the same time.

Anyone on designated seating is not allowed to use the visiting yard.

Any visitor on designated seating will go through a three month probationary period of designated seating before they are given the privilege to return to regular open visits.

  1. Closed Visit:

A Closed Visit or Restricted Visit occurs when the inmate and visitor only see each other through a glass partition (like visits in Provincial Remand Facilities).  At a closed visit, the visitor cannot touch the inmate and or buy food/snacks for the inmate.  All closed visits are on a time schedule based on the institution find visitation information here.


  1. Video Visits:

For a Video or Skype visit, the visitor does not have to travel to the institution. Connection is made by the V&C Staff to the visitor and the inmate visits via Video Chat (Skype). The inmate is in front of a computer screen at the institution and the visitor is in front of their computer at the home and they can speak to each other.

Skype visits are usually 30-45 minutes long. Only the approved visitors are permitted to speak to the inmate. The visits are closely monitored, and if someone-else who is not on the inmate-visiting list tries to speak to the inmate, the inmate can be penalizes. He/she can have the visit terminated, be refused future Skype visits etc.

Inmates are only permitted to have one visit per visiting day, they cannot have a regular visit and a Video Visit on the same day.  Click here to learn more about Video Visits.