Colorado State Penitentiary

Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP) is a maximum-security state prison for men located outside of Cañon City, Colorado. It is part of the East Cañon Complex and can house a maximum of 750 inmates. 

CSP houses some of the most dangerous and most violent inmates in the Colorado correctional system. This facility has the lethal injection chamber, but there is no physical death row in the state. Most inmates with a death sentence are not housed at CSP, and instead are housed at Sterling Correctional Facility. 

Until 2012, everyone incarcerated at CSP was in solitary confinement─also known as AdSeg (administrative segregation)─which means they were locked in their cells for 23 hours per day. However, Colorado has changed the rules on solitary confinement, and inmates are currently allowed to leave their cells and get yard time. 

There is still debate in the state legislature over the legality of solitary confinement, so it could return to CSP at anytime if lawmakers decide to bring it back to the Colorado correctional system.

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Colorado State Penitentiary

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Before you visit an inmate at Colorado State Penitentiary, you must first fill out a visiting application. A parent or guardian must complete a Form 300-01G Authorization for Minor Child Visitation if a visitor is under 18, and if you are traveling a long distance to visit or wish to request an extended visit, you can complete and submit a Special Visitation Application.

All Visiting Applications must be mailed to:

Attention: Visiting Department
Colorado State Penitentiary
P.O. Box 777
Cañon City, CO 81215

If you have specific questions, you can contact the visiting department by phone or email:

Phone: (719) 269-5252
Email: [email protected] 

Once you are approved, you must also use the above phone number or email to schedule an appointment to visit, and this is required to visit an inmate at CSP.

Close Custody/Incentive Pod

After 30 days, restrictive housing maximum security status offenders are limited to one 90-minute, non-contact visit per month. Visits are only allowed on Fridays from 8:15 am to 9:45 am, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, or 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.

Management Control Unit (MCU)/Close Custody Transition Unit (CCTU)

MCU inmates are limited to six, non-contact visits per month (2 hours each). Offenders who are program compliant and have good behavior may be approved for two contact visits per month (1.5 hours each). 

MCU High Risk inmates are not eligible for contact visits, but they are allowed up to three, non-contact visits per month (2 hours each).

MCU Death Row/CCTU are allowed up to six, non-contact visits each month (2 hours each), and if they are program compliant and exhibit good behavior, they may be approved for four contact visits per month (1.5 hours each). 

Non-contact visits are only allowed on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between 8:15 and 10:15 and 11:30 to 1:30. 

Contact visits are held on Thursdays and designated Saturdays for CCTU and Mondays for MCU.

CCTU session times are on Thursdays from 8:15 to 9:45 and 10:30 to 12:00. They are also available on the first three Saturdays of each month from 12:00 to 1:30 and 2:00 to 3:30.  MCU session times are Mondays from 8:15 to 9:45, 10:30 to 12:00, and 1:00 to 2:30. 


Inmates in general population are housed in D-Pod, and they are allowed three contact visits per week, with no monthly maximum. Hours are on Thursdays from noon to 3:30, Friday and Sunday from 8:15 to 2:30, and on the first three Saturdays of each month from 8:15 am to noon.

General Rules to remember

You must have a photo ID to visit an inmate at Colorado State Penitentiary. When you are processed, you will receive a hand stamp, be searched, and go through a metal detector. All items of contraband found on a visitor during a search will be immediately seized by officers.

You are not allowed to bring books of any kind, pagers, telephones, credit cards, cameras or film of any kind, briefcases, cosmetics, prescription drugs (other than the amount needed for the duration of the visit and as noted on the prescription), or other items which require shakedown or search procedures which cause a delay in facilitating visits.

There are vending machines available in the visiting rooms, and you are allowed to bring cash to use in those vending machines.

There is also a dress code for when you visit, so remember to dress modestly. For details about the dress code click here.

Anyone entering the grounds of a DOC facility, their vehicles, and articles of property in their possession are subject to inspection/search consistent with the security needs of the facility. In the event a visitor refuses to submit to any entrance or visiting procedure, that person will be denied visits and shall be required to leave DOC facility/property immediately.

Physical Address

Colorado State Penitentiary
E US Highway 50 Evans Blvd
Cañon City, CO 81215

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

(719) 269-5120

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Colorado State Penitentiary
P.O. Box 777
Cañon City, CO 81215

You also have the option of emailing an inmate at Colorado State Penitentiary using JPay. You must first visit JPay to create an account, and before you can send an email, you will need the inmate's DOC number. 

At the moment, inmates may only respond to emails via regular U.S. Mail

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at CSP, but they do have access to phones and can call you if you have an account with ConnectNetwork. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Colorado, please click here.

How to Send Money

There are three general ways to send money to your incarcerated friend or family member at Colorado State Penitentiary:

  • Online with a credit or debit card
  • Over the phone with a credit or debit card
  • In person with cash at locations throughout the country

Money orders and cash sent by mail are not accepted. 

Click on one of the links below to send money to an inmate at CSP:

​Programs For ​Inmates

Colorado State Penitentiary has limited programs for offenders, but they do offer some substance abuse treatment options for inmates with drug and alcohol problems, and they also offer adult basic education and GED.

Pictures of Colorado State Penitentiary

Careers at Colorado State Penitentiary

If you are interested in a job at Colorado State Penitentiary, you can find the contact information for a variety of positions on the Colorado Department of Corrections website.