Northwest Florida Reception Center

Northwest Florida Reception Center is a Florida state prison for men located in Chipley, Florida that is managed by the Florida Department of Corrections. This is a Level 5 facility that houses a maximum of 1,303 inmates of mixed security levels. It is adjacent to the Northwest Florida Reception Center Annex.

This facility has been described as, “one of the state’s most notoriously violent prisons.” In September 2014, six correctional officers were arrested and charged with felony abuse against prisoners.

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Northwest Florida Reception Center

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The visiting hours at Northwest Florida Reception Center are on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. and they stop processing visitors at 1:00 p.m. 

Before you can visit an inmate at Northwest Florida Reception Center, you have to get on the inmate’s approved visiting list. The inmate must mail you a visitor applicationㅡwhich is available in both English and Spanish. Once you fill it out and send it back, the FDC will review your application. If you are not approved, you will not be allowed to visit.

Everyone 12 or older must complete a visitor application, and all visitors 17 or younger must be accompanied by an approved adult on the inmate’s visiting list.

Visit procedures

Before you can enter the visiting room at Northwest Florida Reception Center, you must go through the registration process. Bring a valid photo ID so the officers can confirm that you are an approved visitor. After verifying that you are an approved visitor, they will ask you some questions and then you will go through a number of searches.

The officers start with a property search, and then you will go through a metal detector and a Magneto Static Detector (which detects cell phones and other electronic devices). Next, you will go through a pat search from an officer, and the last step is a barrier search conducted by a canine handler. 

Once you have cleared all of these steps, you will be allowed to visit with your inmate.

What you can bring to a visit

Each visitor is allowed to bring the following items into the visiting room at Northwest Florida Reception Center:

  • A maximum of $50.00 ($1, $5, $10, and $20 denominations only or silver change) for the vending machines. You are allowed to carry the money in a small wallet or pouch.
  • One car key. No key chains or keyless entry devices.
  • Necessary medication. Bring only the necessary dosage in the original prescribed container (it must be clearly marked). 

**For medical conditions that require injections, the officers at Northwest Florida Reception Center will allow you to leave the visiting room. Before you can go back to your visit, the officers will conduct another pat search.

If you are bringing an infant into the visit, you may have the following items:

  • A maximum of five diapers
  • Three, clear, plastic, baby bottles or two sipper cups for toddlers
  • One, clear, plastic, baby pacifier
  • Three, clear, plastic jars of baby food with the original seal intact 
  • Baby wipes or towelettes (in a clear plastic bag) 
  • An infant baby carrier (subject to search)
  • One set of infant clothing
  • One, non-quilted baby blanket to keep the infant warm

Do not attempt to bring a cell phone or any other electronic device to the visiting room.

Dress Code

The following articles of clothing are not permitted:

  • Halter tops or bra-less attire
  • Underwear-type t-shirts or tank tops
  • Fishnet clothing
  • Skin tight clothing
  • Shoes with removable parts
  • See-through fabric without an undergarment
  • Dresses, skirts, or shorts more than three inches above the knee
  • Clothing with a threatening picture or language
  • Camouflage
  • Any clothing with metal

Video Visitation

Video visitation at Northwest Florida Reception Center is available through JPay. The visits can last up to thirty minutes, and there is a fee. You must be an approved visitor on the inmate’s visiting list, and you have to schedule the visit using the JPay calendar function.

You must have an account with JPay to visit with an inmate via video. The video visitation fee is $2.95 for 15 minutes.

Physical Address

Northwest Florida Reception Center
4455 Sam Mitchell Drive
Chipley, Florida 32428-3597

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number

​(850) 773-6100

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and ID Number
Northwest Florida Reception Center
4455 Sam Mitchell Drive
Chipley, Florida 32428-3597

All inmate mail must have the inmate’s committed name, their DC number, and institutional address. It must be sent through the US Mail, no FedEx, UPS, or courier services.

The general guidelines for inmate mail are:

  • Letters can be a maximum of 15 pages in length (You cannot glue, tape, or staple anything to the pages)
  • Greeting cards, but nothing with electronic or non-paper parts
  • Pictures, with the exception of nude photographs, Polaroids, or anything larger than 8”x10”
  • A maximum of ten, blank, greeting cards, blank pieces of paper, or envelopes
  • A maximum of twenty, first class stamps

The following packaging is not allowed:

  • Boxes
  • Padded envelopes
  • Plastic bags
  • Multi-layer packaging
  • Envelopes that include metal parts
  • Card stock type envelopes (U.S. Mail Priority or U.S. Mail Express card board type) 
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts

Non-paper items and stickers are prohibited in inmate mail.

You also have the option of emailing an inmate through JPay. The cost per email is approximately the price of a stamp. Inmates do not have internet access, but the staff at Northwest Florida Reception Center can print out emails and deliver them to the inmate at mail call.

There is also the option of JP5 tablets at Northwest Florida Reception Center, which you can buy for your incarcerated loved one so they can read emails, purchase music, eBooks, games, and rent movies. 

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at Northwest Florida Reception Center, but they can make outbound calls during approved hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Florida, please click here.

How to Send Money

To send money to an inmate at Northwest Florida Reception Center there are two options: JPay and MoneyGram. Both companies charge fees to send money, and as a rule, it is cheaper to send money online or with the app than it is by phone or in person. 

With JPay, you can send money via their website, their app, by phone, or by mail. To use MoneyGram, you must visit a location in person (locations include all Walmarts and CVS Pharmacies).

JPay Options

  • Online or Mobile App: To send an inmate money with your credit or debit card, visit or download the JPay Mobile App that is available at the Apple App Store (for iPhones) and Google Play (for Android phones).
  • By phone: Call (800) 574-5729 to talk with a live JPay call center agent and send money with a debit or credit card.
  • Mail a money orderㅡmade payable to JPayㅡwith a deposit slip to:

P.O. Box 260010
Hollywood, FL 33026

Money order deposit slip available in English here.

Hoja de Depósito para Giros Bancarios disponible en Español aqui.


If you would like to use cash, visit a MoneyGram location and use receive code 5188. You can also use a debit or credit card with this option.

Programs For Inmates

Academic Programs

  • Adult Basic Education
  • General Educational Development (GED)
  • Volunteer Literacy Program

Substance Abuse Programs

  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Pre-Treatment Motivation Program

Chaplaincy Services

  • Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous
  • Chapel Library Program
  • Compound Visitation
  • Faith and Character Base
  • F.I.T. Program
  • Holy Day Observation Program
  • Most Excellent Way
  • Personal Growth Programs
  • Religious Education Classes
  • Religious Volunteer Program
  • TBN Second Chance Site Program
  • Voluntary Education Program
  • Worship Services

Institutional Betterment Programs

  • 100-Hour Transition Program
  • Anger & Stress Management
  • Gavel Club
  • Library Programs/Law Library Programs

Pictures of Northwest Florida Reception Center

Careers at Northwest Florida Reception Center

The Florida Department of Corrections is the third largest prison system in the country, and there are numerous open positions at Northwest Florida Reception Center. If you are interested in a job, click here.

Northwest Florida Reception Center is currently offering a $1,000 hiring bonus, and they have three career paths: correctional officer, parole officer, and construction and facility maintenance. They also have open positions in different departments like Healthcare, Library, Finance & Accounting, and Education.