North Kern State Prison

North Kern State Prison is a state prison for men located in Delano, California. It houses over 4,000 medium to minimum-custody inmates, and it is the Central/Southern California Transportation Hub for the CDCR.  

NKSP has a general population medium-custody facility and a minimum support facility with a ten-bed Level I firehouse. The general population portion of the institution focuses on providing educational/vocational opportunities to inmates, equipping them with skills which will aid them in finding gainful employment upon their release from prison.

The Reception Center currently processes incoming inmates usually within a 90-day period. After compiling the inmate's criminal records, life histories, medical and psychological histories, and social relationships, NKSP staff determines the inmate's classification score and institutional placement.

Three hundred and sixty acres of NKSP property have been designated as protected wildlife habitat for the Blunt-Nosed Leopard lizard, San Joaquin kit fox, and the Tipton kangaroo Rat.  The facility is an exact replica of its closest neighbor, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center.

On October 22, 2012 a 5.7 megawatt Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant was activated. An estimated 13.3 million dollars savings over the next 20 year is projected. The solar deployment will offset nearly 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide over 20 years. The system and panels produce no noise and zero greenhouse emissions.

Prison Insights

North Kern State Prison

Go back

What Do Inmate Families Think?

Go back

What Do Former Inmates Think?

Go back

What Do Employees Think?

Go back
Sorry, there are no insights for this section of the facility yet.
Overall Score = /10
Total Respondents =

Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at North Kern State Prison are on Saturdays, Sundays, and four holidays: New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The visiting hours are generally between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

To get up-to-date information on visits at North Kern State Prison, call the 800 Visitors’ Information number at 800-374-8474. This number will give you information on lockdowns, medical quarantines, or other circumstances affecting visiting.

We highly recommend that you read the CDCR’s detailed Visitation Guidebook before visiting an inmate. This 28-page book includes detailed information on visiting rules and procedures and it has answers to any questions you might have.

You can also schedule a visit at North Kern State Prison in advance by using the VPASS system. This is required when you are visiting an inmate who is in the reception center because they can only have non-contact visits behind glass.

The number of visitation hours an inmate receives each month depends on their security and custody level. Inmates with few infractions are allowed to have visits more often and longer.

The mainline inmates are allowed to have contact visits as well as conjugal visits but only from their wives.

Getting Approved for a Visit

Before you can visit an inmate at North Kern you must get on the approved visiting list. The first step is to ask the prisoner you want to visit to mail you a signed visitor questionnaire. Once you receive it and fill it out, mail the completed questionnaire to:

North Kern State Prison
Visiting Sergeant
PO Box 567
Delano, CA 93216-0567

The prison will notify the inmate when you are approved, and it is their job to notify you. When you are approved, you will be listed in the CDCR computer as being an approved visitor for that specific prisoner.

If you are denied, the prison will send you a letter explaining the reason for disapproval.

General Visiting Rules

Inmates in general population are allowed contact visits. At a contact visit, the prisoner can sit with you in a large visiting room, and you are allowed limited physical contact. Usually, this means a hug and kiss at the beginning and end of the visit, and holding hands during the visit.

Contact visits are restricted to five visitors at a time.Prisoners who receive contact visits are allowed to visit until either their visits are terminated or until the end of visiting. You may leave a visit at any time or stay until the end of visiting.

Inmates in intake and ADSEG (Administrative Segregation) are only allowed non-contact visits, and you must have an appointment. Prisoners subject to non-contact visits have time-limited visits, usually one to two hours, and their visitors must leave at the end of the allotted time.

When you arrive at North Kern State Prison for a visit, you are required to bring a current photo ID. You will be searched and you must walk through a metal detector. The items you bring will go through an X-ray machine.

You must fill out a pass each time you visit an inmate, and you must include the following information:

  • the prisoner’s name and CDCR number
  • your relationship to the prisoner (spouse, mother, friend, etc.)
  • your name and address
  • your signature
  • If you are bringing in minor children, you must list the names of the children on the pass

Once you fill out the pass you must give it to staff, and they will check the prisoner’s file to make sure you are on their approved list and that the prisoner is eligible to visit on that day.

The pass, along with your identification, is your “key” to get into and out of the prison.

When you arrive for a contact visit, you are allowed to bring in the following items:

  • Up to $50 per adult (only as dollar bills, dollar coins, and quarters) for the vending machines
  • A small, clear, plastic purse or bag
  • Two keys on a ring with no other attachments
  • Identification
  • A comb or brush; non-metallic, no pointed end or detachable parts
  • A small unopened pack of tissues or a handkerchief; no bandannas
  • A pair of prescription glasses
  • Ten Photographs, no larger than 8” by 10”; photos may be shown to the prisoner, but must be taken out by the visitor at the end of the visit. No Polaroids. No sexual or gang images
  • Ten pages of documents

Dress Code

There are rules when it comes to what you can wear to a prison visit. In general, there are four things to remember:

1. Do not wear clothing that resembles the clothing that prisoners wear (Blue denim pants, Blue chambray shirts, Orange jumpsuits, Orange tops with Orange bottoms)

2. Do not wear clothing that resembles what custodial staff wear (Forest green pants and Tan shirts)

3. Dress conservatively and modestly (No strapless, halter, bare midriff, sheer, or transparent clothing; No skirts, dresses, or shorts that expose more than two inches above the knee; No clothing that exposes the breasts, genitalia, or buttocks area; No very tight, form-fitting attire)

4. Do not wear any item that will not clear a metal detector (such as an underwire bra or clothing with metal buttons)

Physical Address

North Kern State Prison
2737 West Cecil Avenue
Delano, CA 93215

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

​(661) 721-2345

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
A Yard
PO Box 5000
Delano, CA 93215-5000

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
B Yard
PO Box 4999
Delano, CA 93216-4999

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
C Yard
PO Box 5004
Delano, CA 93216-5004

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
D Yard
PO Box 5005
Delano, CA 93215-5005

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
E Yard
PO Box 5000
Delano, CA 93215-5000

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at North Kern State Prison. Instead, they must call you collect.

The state of California contracts with one telephone vendor who provides local, long distance, inter-state, and international telephone services to prisoners. For complete details on how to call an inmate in California, please click here.

How to Send Money

There are three ways to send money to an inmate at North Kern State Prison: Electronic Funds Transfer, Lock Box, or mailing a check or money order directly to the inmate.

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a paid service and the funds post to the inmate’s account within one to three days
  • Lock Box is a no-fee option for sending money via money order, personal check, or cashier’s check, but there is a ten-day hold
  • Mail Your Check or Money Order directly to the inmate, but this option has a 30-day hold 

To get complete details about sending money to an inmate at North Kern State Prison, click here.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Prison Industry Authority: Health Care Facility Maintenance
  • Vocational:  Small Engine Repair, Electrical Work
  • Academic: Adult Basic Education, High School/GED, English as a Second Language Bridging Education
  • Religious Services
  • Self Help Groups
  • Substance Abuse Program
  • Arts in Corrections
  • Cognitive behavioral treatment in Anger Management, Criminal Thinking, Family Relationships, and Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment
  • Transitions program
  • California Identification Card Program

Pictures of North Kern State Prison

Careers at North Kern State Prison

If you are interested in a job at North Kern State Prison, you can find available positions on the CalCareers website.