G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility

G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility is a mixed-security state prison for male inmates that is located in Jackson, Michigan. This unique facility is focused on inmate education, and it sits on the site of the former Michigan State Prison.

In 1988, Michigan State Prison (which was once described as the largest walled prison in the world) was broken down into four facilities: G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility, Parnall Correctional Facility, Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center, and the Cooper Street Correctional Facility.

The G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility (JCF) is a multi-level prison on 114 acres located northwest of the intersection of Elm Road and I-94 in Jackson County.

The prison property consists of six pole barn-housing buildings, eleven brick housing buildings, an Administration building, Education building and two food service buildings.  It also has healthcare, maintenance, Michigan State Industries, and the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund.   

Security includes three 12-foot fences, rolls of razor-ribbon wire, two perimeter towers, and an electronic detection system. A patrol road surrounds the perimeter of the facility and a vehicle responds to all detection system alarms.  Surveillance camera systems are located throughout the facility.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting Hours at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility are as follows:

Level IV:
Thursday & Saturday                                 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Level II:
Tuesday & Friday                                       8:30 am - 1:30 pm
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday               2:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Thursday                                                    8:30 am – 1:30 pm

Secure I:
Monday & Wednesday                             8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Sunday, Tuesday, Friday                          2:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Level I:
Sunday                                                       8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Thursday                                                   2:30 pm – 9:00 pm

General Visiting Rules

Anyone who wishes to visit an inmate must be placed on the inmate’s visiting list, and they also must complete a Visiting Application to request approval to visit. The Visiting Application must be submitted in advance to allow for review of the Application.

A maximum of five persons are allowed to visit with a prisoner at one time. Children less than two years of age will not be counted in that number. 

For a complete list of visiting rules at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility, click here. You can also find a complete Family Information Packet by clicking here.

Dress Code

  • Visitors must be fully dressed in clean clothes that do not have holes
  • Undergarments must be worn, including underpants/panties; adult females must wear a brassiere. 
  • Clothing which exposes excessive skin (e.g., abdomen, breast, chest, back, thigh, etc.) is prohibited. This clothing includes, but is not limited to, see-through clothing, tube/halter tops, and shorts or skirts/dresses that are more than 3” above the knee. 
  • A visitor who is fourteen years of age or younger must be attired in clothing which covers his/her body from the base of the neck to the top of the knees. T-Shirt and shorts/trousers are acceptable, but a sundress is not acceptable. 
  • Clothing which exposes undergarments is prohibited. 
  • Extreme form-fitting clothing, including but not limited to yoga pants, running tights, jeggings, unitards, etc. may not be worn as outer garments. 
  • Clothing which displays words, symbols, gestures, or pictures that may be perceived as obscene or inflammatory are prohibited. 
  • Outer garments such as shawls/ponchos, lightweight coats/jackets (including denim and jogging suit jackets), winter coats/jackets, shrugs, vests, headgear, gloves, or outer boots that slip over a shoe are not allowed in the visiting room. Blazers, suit coats, and sweaters are permissible. Note: Hooded garments are prohibited. 
  • Visitors are permitted to wear religious clothing and headgear (e.g., Hijab, yarmulke, turban, habit, etc.), into the visiting room; they are subject to search and inspection. It may be necessary for MDOC staff to search/inspect these items at any time during the visiting process. 
  • Footwear must be worn at all times. 
  • Jewelry worn by visitors will be itemized on entry and on leaving the visiting area. Jewelry is limited to no more than ten pieces. Note: Jewelry which includes an open compartment or space designed to contain photographs, hair, ashes, etc. is prohibited (e.g., lockets, rings, charms, vials, etc.). 

Also prohibited are watches, including electronic wristbands, pendants, eyeglasses, and other similar items containing a camera, GPS, wireless, or electronic functions. 

Personal Property Allowed in the Visiting Room

The following list is all-inclusive: 

  • Locker key
  • Visitor pass
  • Identification card
  • Money for vending machines - a maximum amount of $25.00 per visitor or no more than $60 per group visit.
  • When an infant is on the visit: Two clear plastic bottles, one pacifier, and one single-layered baby blanket (no quilt or comforter style). A clear, plastic spill-proof cup “sippy cup” is permitted when a toddler is a member of the visiting party. 
  • Medications and/or medical equipment (e.g., wheelchair, cane, walker, oxygen equipment, prosthesis, etc.) which may be needed by a visitor during a visit are permitted with the approval of the shift commander.
  • A service animal which provides service for a disabled visitor is permitted to accompany the visitor while in the visiting room. A service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. 
  • Photo tickets - Visitors may purchase photo tickets from the lobby vending machine. All photographs of prisoners will be supervised by staff and approved prior to distribution to prisoner or visitor.  All photographs will be limited to one prisoner per photograph. 
  • Immediate family members may bring legal documents in on a visit for review only with the prisoner. The documents cannot be left with the prisoner nor left at the front desk for the prisoner. These items are subject to search before being taken into the visiting room. 

Physical Address

G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility
3500 N. Elm Road
Jackson, MI 49201

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/LBuut21aN66abA5c6

General Phone Number

​(517) 780-5000

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and DOC Number
G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility
3500 N. Elm Road
Jackson, MI 49201

When writing to a prisoner at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility using the US mail system, the envelope must include the address of the facility as well as the offender’s name and MDOC number. If you do not know this information, you can search the OTIS Database, located on the MDOC’s website (www.michigan.gov/mdoc).

FFP Program

The FFP Program is a Department-approved customized package program that allows family members and others to send authorized items to prisoners while safeguarding against the introduction of contraband.  

There is a limit of $100, not including tax and shipping, per FFP order placed. Only one FFP order may be placed by or for a prisoner per quarter (i.e., Jan-Mar; Apr-Jun; Jul-Sep; Oct-Dec). Only the first order placed by or for a prisoner each quarter will be processed, regardless of who placed the order or the value of the order.

For additional information about this program, visit the FFP website at www.michiganpackages.com.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility can’t receive incoming calls, but they do have access to phones and are allowed to make monitored outgoing calls during approved hours. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Michigan, please click here.

How to Send Money

You can send money to an inmate at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility via the GTL ConnectNetwork with their Trust Fund service. 

After creating a ConnectNetwork account and selecting G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility and your inmate to add to your account, you can deposit money into the Trust Fund (commissary) account at any time. Deposit amounts vary, but the most common denominations are between $10 and $100. All funds appear on the inmate’s account quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

While using this website is the easiest and fastest way to make a Trust Fund deposit, there are several different payment options available. Note: all Trust Fund deposits are final; there are no refunds issued.

Programs For Inmates

The Prisoner Education program at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility is committed to providing academic, technical, and workplace skills training for prisoners designed to enhance their ability to acquire and maintain a job upon release.  

This is accomplished within a continuous quality improvement environment which contains cost while providing the most effective programs to ensure every prisoner obtains a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or an Industry-Recognized Certification in Vocational Training prior to leaving prison.  Every eligible prisoner will have an opportunity to learn workplace skills in Career and Technical Education (CTE), State Correctional Opportunities for Rehabilitation and Education (SCORE) (e.g. Prison Build), Employment Readiness, soft skills training, or other routine work assignments available throughout the Department.

G. Robert Cotton Facility offers several academic programs that include Adult Basic Education, General Education Development preparation, Special Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Jackson College, Employment Readiness, and Food Technology training program. 

The facility has the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund (MBTF), the only prison braille program in the State. It also has Michigan State Industries Print Shop and Mattress Factory.  

G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility is a Prisoner Re-entry facility for the statewide medical and the Wayne County population. The facility offers evidence-based cognitive programs such as Thinking for a Change (T4C), Violence Prevention Program (VPP), Cage Your Rage, Phase I and II Substance Abuse, Advanced Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT), and Alcoholics Anonymous.  JCF also has the Leader Dog for the Blind Program.

Pictures of G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility

Careers at G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility

If you are interested in a career with the Michigan Department of Corrections at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility, you can find job listings by clicking here