Pleasant Valley State Prison

Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) is a minimum to maximum-security facility that houses male inmates. It is located in Coalinga, California and was designed to hold a maximum of 2,308 prisoners. However, there are over 3,000 people currently incarcerated at PVSP.

Pleasant Valley State Prison manages public safety and public service while providing modern long-term housing and professional rehabilitative services for inmates of all custody levels. Education and Career Technical skills are offered to inmates through academic classes, vocational instruction, and work programs to create viable job skills that are marketable in today's workforce.

PVSP offers a multitude of self-help programs that are developed to aid in the inmates' ability to make positive life-changing decisions while giving back to society. The facility also offers support to the local community through inmate work crews, mutual aid agreements in fire suppression, and with local Law Enforcement Agencies to provide enhanced support through the Crisis Response Teams, in addition to a youth diversion program for at-risk children.

Pleasant Valley offers one of the state's first Enhanced Program Facilities for those inmates who choose to better themselves through positive programming. The Youth Offender Program offers a voluntary intensive rehabilitative treatment program for Youthful Offenders to address their educational, emotional, social, and behavior needs.

The goal at PSVP is to provide modern rehabilitative services to the inmate population while developing life and social skills to those preparing to reintegrate back into society. The licensed Correctional Treatment Center provides short-term inpatient medical care, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of inmates, including these in need of intervention in the Mental Health Crisis Bed housing.

Notable current and former inmates incarcerated at PVSP include Sirhan Sirhan, Erik Menendez, X-Raided, and Stanley Howse (AKA Flesh-N-Bone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony).

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Pleasant Valley State Prison

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at Pleasant Valley 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 3:00 p.m.

We recommend a few things before visiting an inmate at Pleasant Valley:

  • Call the 800 Visitors’ Information number at 800-374-8474 to get information on lockdowns, medical quarantines, or other circumstances affecting visiting.
  • Read the CDCR’s detailed Visitation Guidebook.This 28-page book includes information on visiting rules and procedures and it has answers to any questions you might have.
  • Schedule a visit at Pleasant Valley State Prison in advance by using the VPASS system. This is required when you are visiting an inmate who can only have non-contact visits behind glass.

Getting Approved for a Visit

Before you can visit an inmate at Pleasant Valley you must get on the approved visiting list. You will need a visitor questionnaire to do this, but the only way to get one is by asking the inmate you wish to visit to send it to you.

After you receive it and fill it out completely, mail the completed questionnaire to:

Pleasant Valley State Prison
Visiting Sergeant
PO Box 8500
Coalinga, CA 93210-8500

The prison will only notify the inmate if you are approved, and then they must notify you. If you are denied, the prison will mail you a letter explaining the reason for the denial.

General Visiting Rules

The intent of CDCR's Visiting Program is to help develop and maintain healthy family and community relationships.

Inmates in general population are allowed contact visits where the prisoner can sit with you in a large visiting room and you are allowed limited physical contact, like a brief hug and kiss and hand-holding.

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 Pleasant Valley 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 four things to remember when deciding what to wear for a visit:

1. Do not wear clothing that resembles the clothing that prisoners wear

2. Do not wear clothing that resembles what custodial staff wear

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

Pleasant Valley State Prison
24863 West Jayne Avenue
Coalinga, CA 93210

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

​(559) 935-4900

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
Pleasant Valley State Prison
P.O. Box 8500
Coalinga, CA 93210

Be sure to include the inmate’s name and CDCR number on all correspondence. All mail going into Pleasant Valley State Prison is inspected by prison staff.

You are allowed to send any of the following items:

  • Letters (not more than 10 pages in one envelope)
  • Cards (without embellishments such as stickers or glitter)
  • Photographs (limited to 10 per envelope and not larger than 8” x 10”)
  • Drawings
  • Children’s schoolwork
  • Articles from the internet, newspapers, or magazines

You can’t send books directly to an inmate. Instead, they must be sent through approved vendors like Amazon. If you want to send magazines or newspapers, you have to set up a subscription for the inmate so it comes directly from the publisher.

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at Pleasant Valley State Prison, but they do have access to phones and can call you collect. 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 Pleasant Valley State Prison: Electronic Funds Transfer,  Lock Box, or mailing a check or money order directly to them.

  • 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 so they can buy items at the prison commissary, click here.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Career Technical Education: Electrical Works, Office Services and Electronics Technology, Small Engine Repair, Carpentry, Building Maintenance, Auto Body & Paint, Auto Mechanics (Engine repair), Welding
  • Academic:  Adult Basic Education (ABE) I, II, III , GED / High School Diploma Program, Voluntary Education Program (VEP), Elementary/Secondary Education Act (ESEA), College Program (Coastline), California Prison Industry Authority (CalPIA) Program, Health Care Facility Maintenance (Medical Janitorial Services)
  • Community Service Crews (CalTrans crew)
  • Inmate Firefighters
  • Religious Services
  • Bicycle Refurbishing
  • Self Help/Support Programs (I.e. Lifer Group, Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Veteran’s Group, Criminal Gangs Anonymous)
  • Handicraft Program
  • Joint Venture Program (Inmate Labor Initiative Program)

Pictures of Pleasant Valley State Prison

Careers at Pleasant Valley State Prison

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