Salinas Valley State Prison

Salinas Valley State Prison is an all-male, minimum to maximum-security California state prison located outside of Soledad, California. It has the capacity to house 2,452 inmates, but the current population is over 3,000.

Productivity and self-improvement opportunities are provided for inmates at Salinas Valley State Prison through academic classes, work programs, religious, and self-help groups. SVSP is always trying to increase the quantity and quality of programming afforded to the inmate population in an effort to help reduce recidivism.

SVSP was constructed to meet the access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and it has been designated to house Level I, III, and IV inmates.

SVSP has a Correctional Treatment Center (CTC) where inmates receive professionally supervised health care in an inpatient setting. SVSP provides Correctional Clinical Case Management System (CCCMS), Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP), and Mental Health Crisis Bed (MHCB) for those inmates requiring mental health services. SVSP also houses inmates who meet the criteria of the CDCR Disability Placement Program (DPP).

This facility also provides both outpatient and inpatient mental health services for patients with a serious mental disorder. The licensed Psychiatric Inpatient Program at SVSP is designed to provide more intensive treatment for patients who can’t function adequately or stabilize in an outpatient program.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at Salinas 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 3:30 p.m.

You must arrive at the prison no later than 1:30 p.m. if you wish to visit with an inmate.

Salinas Valley State Prison has an 800 Visitors’ Information number (800-374-8474) that you can call for up-to-date information about visits. This number will let you know if the prison is on lockdown or under quarantine, or if something else has occurred that has cancelled visiting for the day.

We highly recommend that you read the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Visitation Guidebook before visiting an inmate because those 28 pages are full of information, and it will answer any questions you might have about visiting an inmate at SVSP.

You can schedule a visit at Salinas Valley State Prison by using the VPASS system, and this is required if you’re visiting anyone who is in segregated housing or only allowed non-contact visits.

Getting Approved for a Visit

Before visiting an inmate at SVSP you must get on the approved visiting list. The only way to do this is to ask the prisoner you want to visit to mail you a signed visitor questionnaire. Once you fill it out, mail the completed questionnaire to:

Salinas Valley State Prison
Visiting Sergeant
PO Box 1020
Soledad, CA 93960- 1020

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

Most SVSP inmates are allowed contact visits, which take place in a large visiting room and the prisoner can sit with you and have limited physical contact. Contact visits are restricted to five visitors at a time.

Inmates in ADSEG (Administrative Segregation) are only allowed non-contact visits, which take place in a separate visiting room, and the inmates and visitors are separated by a glass partition. You must have an appointment for a non-contact visit.

When you arrive at Salinas Valley State Prison for a visit, be sure to bring a current photo ID, and be prepared to be searched and to go through a metal detector. The items you bring will go through an X-ray machine.

You want to keep the items you bring for a visit to a minimum. Leave all electronic devices in your vehicle, as well as outerwear, hats, and sunglasses.

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

  • Up to $50 per adult (only as dollar bills, dollar coins, and quarters) for 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
When visiting an inmate, you need to dress modestly and avoid wearing any clothing that resembles what the inmates wear. To get more details about the dress code and every clothing item that is not allowed in the visiting room, click here.

Physical Address

Salinas Valley State Prison
31625 Highway 101
Soledad, CA 93960

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

​(831) 678-5500

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
Salinas Valley State Prison
PO Box 1050
Soledad, CA 93960-1050

You must include the inmate’s name and CDCR number on everything you mail to an inmate. The prison staff will inspect every piece of mail that goes into SVSP, so avoid writing anything sexually explicit, gang-related, or anything that has to do with a crime.

You are allowed to send only the following:

  • 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 are not allowed to send books directly to an inmate. Instead, they must be sent through approved vendors, like Amazon. To send magazines and newspapers, you must set up a subscription for the inmate so they can be mailed directly from the publisher.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at Salinas Valley State Prison aren’t allowed to receive incoming calls, but they do have access to phones. Inmates can call you during daytime hours, but you will have to pay for it. 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 SVSP: 

  • Using the lockbox (check or money order)
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) online (debit or credit card)
  • Mailing a check or money order directly to the inmate (check or money order)

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

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Inmate Educational Programs

Salinas Valley State Prison offers both General Population (GP) programs and Voluntary Education Programs (VEP). GP programs offer Adult Basic Education (ABE) I, II, & III level classes to assigned inmate students.

The VEP programs offer Adult Basic Education coursework as well, but inmate students voluntarily enroll in the programs. VEP teachers also help coordinate and serve as proctors for students enrolled in college courses.

Additionally, SVSP offers a Career Technical Education Computer Literacy program. This program allows students to earn certifications in basic computer programs and provides them with the skills necessary for entry-level positions requiring the use of computers. Completion of the course also provides a foundation for more advanced computer classes and training.

Inmates are offered lower level assistance and tutoring with the Pro-Literacy program in the VEP classes and with the Scottish Rites Program over the institution's closed circuit television system.

The higher level inmate students have opportunities to get a General Education Certificate (GED). GED instruction is offered on the institution's closed circuit television system as well as in the classroom setting. A High School Diploma program is also available to inmate students who have a minimum amount of credits to earn.

SVSP also offers education services to inmates in the Developmental Disability Program (DDP) with a credentialed special education teacher and a teaching assistant to meet the needs of the DDP population.

In addition, there is an Isolation Population program to meet the needs of the Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP) students. Both of these programs will assist the EOP and DDP students to meet the same goals as the general population students. Each student has the opportunity to achieve basic literacy, GED or high school equality, and college program.

  • Inmate Self Help Programs and Volunteer Programs

SVSP offers multiple self help groups and volunteer programs.These programs are designed to enable the inmate population a way to express themselves in a non-violent manner and/or utilize various coping mechanisms, with the overall goal of reducing adverse behavior and recidivism rates to those who participate.

  • Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) -Volunteer facilitators teach a 12-step recovery program where inmates learn to acknowledge alcohol and narcotic addiction and the need to live a sober life.
  • Veterans Group - Self Help sponsors provide aid and support to inmates that are Veterans relating to benefits, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse.
  • Breaking Barriers - Self Help sponsors follow an established curriculum with the specific purpose of breaking an inhibiting cycle of conditioned habits and help inmates become more productive and fulfilled human beings while learning about the body of knowledge found in cognitive psychology.
  • Alternatives to Violence (AVP) - Volunteer facilitators teach how to deal with anger in a positive manner.
  • Inside Men's Foundation Support Group - Volunteer facilitators follow an established curriculum which creates an environment that inmates can work toward exploring the issues that have prevented them from living up to their full potential.
  • Ojai Council Leadership Collaborative - The OCLC volunteers provides training and support in practicing and facilitating Council so as to create a heightened sense of common purpose and positive community at SVSP OCLC. Inmate facilitators attend workshops to facilitate Council.

The OCLC provides inmates with an opportunity to perceive and experience their incarceration as an opportunity for personal transformation and to build skills in self-expression and self valuation while building self-esteem and communication skills, improving family dynamics and preparing in other ways for reentry into society.

  • Lifer Support Group - The group's purpose is to raise awareness and improve attitudes while helping Life Term prisoners adjust to a more focused disciplined and structured life within their environment. The group deals with issues such as self-esteem, positive behavior, personal character, conduct, and anger management.
  • Anger Management - Self Help sponsors follow an established curriculum with the purpose of managing anger, emotional intelligence, and empathy awareness.
  • Writer's Workshop - Volunteers provide an opportunity for Enhanced Outpatient Inmates to develop their ability to express ideas and experiences in writing. Creativity is a way inmates can come to know and own the events and feelings of their lives and expand them from personal suffering into communal experience. In breaking the silence, the journey toward wholeness begins.
  • Religious Programs
  • The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) - Volunteers equip inmates to become pastors and church leaders, both, on the "inside," for lifers, as well as for those who return to their urban communities.
  • Bridging Program - Faith-based (Christian) program primarily to help individuals break their addictions. In-prison activities with educational programming based on cognitive-behavior therapy emphasize rehabilitation above deterrence, employing evidence based strategies compounded with the Christian faith.
  • Prayer and Share - Volunteers apply God's Word to the wounds that one may encounter as a Christian so that healing and restoration may begin. Through interaction, biblical guidance and encouragement to overcome and persevere through life's issues.

SVSP offers religious services for Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Native Americans, House of Yahweh, Neterian, Wiccan, Odinist, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Siddha Yoga, Christian Science, and Latter Day Saints.

  • Family Liaison Services

The purpose of this program is to alleviate inmate anxiety during incarceration and to promote family unity and reunification to increase the number of parole successes, reduce recidivism and enhance public safety.

  • Case Management Services

Provides support for personal and family pre-release preparation, family emergencies, family reunification, child custody and parental rights.

  • Parenting for Incarcerated Parents

Individual consultation on parenting issues and concerns

  • Creative Conflict Resolutions

Facilitate inter-racial and inter-cultural groups focused on resolving differences

  • Fatherhood Focus

Individual, structured program designed to enhance responsible fathering

Pictures of Salinas Valley State Prison

Careers at Salinas Valley State Prison

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