Wasco State Prison

Wasco State Prison is a medium-custody facility that houses 1,000 male inmates in general, who help support and maintain the 4,580-bed reception center.  This minimum-custody facility provides institutional maintenance and landscaping services.

The reception center provides short-term housing to process, classify, and evaluate new male inmates in the California prison system. During their time at Wasco State Prison, inmates will receive their security level classification and program requirements. They will then be transferred to the proper institution so they can serve their sentence.

The majority of inmates at Wasco State Prison are housed in the facility for about six to twelve weeks before they are transferred.

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Wasco State Prison

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Visiting Hours and Rules

To visit an inmate at Wasco State Prison, you must first get on the approved visiting list. Ask the prisoner you want to visit to mail you a signed visitor questionnaire, and then fill it out completely.

Once you fill it out, mail the completed questionnaire to:

Wasco State Prison
Visiting Sergeant
PO Box 8800
Wasco, CA 3280-8800

The prison will notify the inmate when you are approved, and then the inmate will 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.

Visiting hours at Wasco State Prison are on Saturdays and Sundays between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. You must arrive at the prison no later than 2:00 p.m. if you wish to visit with an inmate.

The online VPASS system allows you to schedule visits at VSP, and this is required if you’re visiting anyone who is in reception or segregated housing.

Contact and Non-Contact Visits

Prisoners who are still in reception are restricted to non-contact visits. Non-contact visits occur with a glass partition between the prisoner and their visitors. The prisoner is escorted in handcuffs by staff to the visit, and then the handcuffs are removed only after the prisoner is secured on their side of the visiting booth.

Parents who do not wish to have children see the prisoner in restraints should wait away from the booth or glass partition until the prisoner is settled. Non-contact visits are restricted to three visitors and are limited in time, usually one to two hours.

Inmates who are in general population are allowed contact visits. These take place in a larger visiting room, and there is a maximum of five visitors allowed for a contact visit. At a contact visit you can briefly hug and kiss the inmate at the beginning and end of the visit. During the visit, you are allowed to hold hands.

There are also vending machines available where you purchase food and beverages to share with the inmate you are visiting.

General Visiting Rules

You must dress modestly and avoid wearing any clothing that resembles what the inmates wear when you are visiting an inmate. A detailed dress code is available here.

When you arrive at WSP for a visit, be sure to bring a current photo ID, and be prepared to be searched and to go through a metal detector.

Leave all electronic devices in your vehicle, as well as outerwear, hats, and sunglasses. Don’t bring anything but the following items into a contact visit:

  • 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

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has an 800 Visitors’ Information number (800-374-8474) that you can call for up-to-date information about visits at Wasco State Prison. This number will let you know if the prison is on lockdown, under quarantine, or if something else has occurred that has cancelled visiting for the day.

We highly recommend that you read the CDCR’s 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 WSP.

Physical Address

Wasco State Prison
701 Scofield Avenue
Wasco, CA 93280

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/zUHhRFFQjys5uyaX7

General Phone Number

​(661) 758-8400

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

To get an inmate’s CDC# or housing assignment, you should call the Public Information Officer (PIO) or the inmate locator at WSP. The number to call is (661) 758-8400.

If you don’t know where an inmate is housed, you can contact the Department’s ID Unit at (916) 445-6713. A date of birth will be required if the person you are inquiring about has a common name.

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
A Facility
PO Box 4400
Wasco, CA 93280-4400

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
B Facility
PO Box 5500
Wasco, CA 93280-5500

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
C Facility
PO Box 6600
Wasco, CA 93280-6600

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
D Facility
PO Box 7700
Wasco, CA 93280-7700

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
E Facility
PO Box 3300
Wasco, CA 93280-4015

Inmate Name, CDCR Number
H Facility
PO Box 9900
Wasco, CA 93280-9900

You must include the inmate’s name and CDCR number on everything you mail to a prisoner at Wasco State Prison. All mail is inspected by prison staff, and it will be rejected if you fail to follow the rules.

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.

If you want to send a package, Inmate Quarterly Packages are available through authorized private vendors. For more information, please contact any of these currently authorized package vendors:


How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at Wasco State Prison. However, the inmates do have access to phones and they can call you collect if you have an account set up through the approved vendor. 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 Wasco State Prison: 

  • 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 WSP, click here.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Prison Industry Authority (PIA) Laundry & Farm Enterprise
  • Pre-Release
  • Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous
  • Slow Down/Despacio - a Youth Diversion Program
  • Religious
  • Friends Outside
  • TABE (Testing of Adult Basic Education)
  • GED
  • Physical Education/Recreation
  • Vocational Electronics, and Office Services and related technology
  • Fire Department - consists of 8 inmate firefighter positions
  • Independent Study Program - Coastline Community College
  • Correctional Learning Network
  • Breaking Barriers-A Cognitive awareness Model
  • Batterer’s Intervention which encompasses Anger Management; Parenting Education and Creative Conflict Resolution

Pictures of Wasco State Prison

Careers at Wasco State Prison

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