Video Visitation Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) hosts the Virtual Visitation Program in cooperation with Scotland Yard Security Services at 10 SCI’s: Albion, Cambridge Springs, Coal Township, Dallas, Forest, Greene, Houtzdale, Mahanoy, Muncy and Pine Grove. This program gives inmates, placed in a correctional institution a long distance from their home, the chance to visit via videoconferencing with their approved visitors. It provides the opportunity for family members and loved ones to "visit" an inmate even if they might not otherwise be able to do so. Approved visitors have been able to video conference with inmates from three community sites: Erie, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Starting October 2018, DOC will host Video Visitation at each of its facilities. Video visitation will be offered at all SCIs and at a select BCC location starting Oct. 29. Visitors can
register to become video visitors starting Oct. 15. Staff will begin approval of visitors Oct. 22, and visits for approved visitors will begin Oct. 29. Register
or with the Android App GTL VisMobile. If you have trouble with registration, please call 855.208.7349.
An approved visitor may visit from an SCI or Region 1 BCC Office (261 Old York Road, Suite 420, Jenkintown, PA). Up to three approved individuals may visit at a time. Visits will:
- take place in accordance with the institution's established visiting hours;
- be 50 minutes in duration;
- count as regular (in-person) visits; and
- be subject to audio/video recording
Visitors who have been restricted from visiting may not participate in the program.
Scotland Yard will continue to offer virtual visits until the end of December.
An Example of How a Video Visit Works:
An approved visitor schedules a video visit which will occur from prison sites SCI Coal Township and SCI Albion. The approved visitor schedules to arrive at SCI Coal Township to video visit with their son, because they live close to SCI Coal Township. Their son is incarcerated at SCI Albion. Fifteen minutes before the video visit appointment, the approved visitor arrives at SCI Coal Township and is processed as an official visitor. The approved visitor will be placed in front of a Video Visitation Station and visits with their son, who is sitting in front of a Video Visitation Station at SCI Albion.
An inmate who wants to participate in the program should inform their approved visitors and encourage them to sign up via GTL. All inmates will be given information on Video Visitation at Orientation, and posters will be provided on all Housing Units.
Anyone on the inmate's approved visiting list may visit the inmate through video visitation as long as they are registered and approved via the GTL application.
Video visits will count towards the inmate's overall allowed visits per month.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Program
How can family/loved ones visit?
They can visit by becoming an approved visitor via GTL. You will be informed via email of your video visitation status after you register (and after Oct. 22).
Visitors cannot visit from home; they must visit at an SCI or BCC Region 1.
How many people can visit at one time?
3 people can visit at one time. Only one approved video visitor needs to schedule a video visit, however, if additional visitors come for the video visit, and they are not approved visitors on the inmate’s visiting list, they will not be permitted to visit.
Can children and infants visit?
Absolutely. We encourage them to come with adult supervision. Also, they must have their birth certificate or a social security card as identification with them when they visit.
Do approved visitors need to bring ID?
YES. Adults and children must follow the ID guidelines set forth in the Visitation policy
Where do visits take place?
They can take place at all of the SCIs and in BCC at the Region 1 office.
What time should visitors arrive?
Visitors should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the visit to complete paperwork.
How long are the visits?
Visits are 50 minutes.
How much does it cost?
Visits are free.
What other rules apply during visits?
Cell phones are NOT permitted. You must abide by ALL visiting guidelines established by the DOC or you risk removal from being an approved visitor.