(Last Updated: 9/18/2021) Please refer to the lists of facilities below where visitation is closed and open, and check back often as circumstances continue to change.
COVID-19 and Visiting: In-person visiting is operating with the following changes for safe visiting. If a facility has two or more current positive COVID-19 cases, in-person visiting will be suspended at that facility until the active cases are below this number.
Based on direction from the Minnesota Department of Health, DOC will abide by the same guideline used in congregate living settings in the community. If a correctional facility has two (2) positive COVID-19 cases within a 14 day period, visiting will not occur. That is two cases combined among staff and those who are incarcerated.
Based on this threshold, the following facilities are not visiting at this time:
- Moose Lake
- Rush City
- Oak Park Heights
- St. Cloud
Visiting is open at these facilities:
- Lino Lakes
- Red Wing
- Willow River
NOTE: This is the current plan but each facility’s status could change depending on the results of pending COVID-19 tests.
Please sign up to receive communication updates about changes in visiting schedules or rules by email or text message: https://mn.gov/doc/family-visitor/
The longstanding visitation policy remains in effect. But, due to COVID-19 some modifications have been made. Below are some of the changes being implemented. For more complete guidelines related to visiting during COVID-19, please click here:
- All visits must be scheduled. You can schedule a visiting appointment by calling the facility during visiting hours, and at least 24 hours in advance. Visits can also be scheduled using the online scheduling option.
- All visits are limited to one hour in duration, extended visits are not able to be offered at this time due to the need for social distancing in the visiting rooms.
- All visitors must be screened, including temperature checks. If the temperature check is 100.0 degrees or higher, the visit cannot occur.
- Barrier masks are required for all visitors over the age of 2.
- Visits will take place with social distancing protocols in place, including staying 6 feet apart at all times. Physical contact is not permitted during any portion of the visit.
- Activities for children in the visiting room will be limited to best maintain social distancing and limit touching of surfaces in an effort to reduce exposure to COVID-19.
Lobby procedures: When visitors come to the facility they will be allowed into the building 15 minutes before their scheduled visits to go through the screening process; each visitor must comply with a COVID screening and temperature check. As stated above, if the temperature check is 100.0 or above, entrance will not be allowed. Refusal to complete any portion of this screening process will result in a cancellation of the visit. Visitors must wear masks upon entrance through the front door. Visitors must provide their own mask, though there will be a limited supply of masks available for visitors who don’t bring a mask with them. After successful completion of the screening they can register. Once the screening/registration is complete, the visit room staff give the visitor a specific time to report back in to the lobby. Visitors must return to their vehicle until the time they were instructed to report for their visit by the visit room staff.
Please keep up-to-date on our visiting procedures by continuing to visit this page. You can continue to review COVID response updates here: https://mn.gov/doc/about/covid-19-updates/
Online Scheduling Option:
Scheduling visits with your loved one has just become easier and more efficient. We’ve launched a web-based “No Wait Inside” scheduling system similar to what many health care systems are using to schedule appointments and making it so you don’t have to wait inside a lobby. This system offers an easier, more efficient scheduling option. The system allows you to search available dates and times for visiting. Each DOC facility has a link on its visiting page of the DOC’s website. This link takes you to the scheduling system. You can also still call a facility to schedule visits just as you have always been able to do.
When using the “No Wait Inside” scheduling system, you can click an arrived button through your confirmation email/text. This will notify facility staff of your arrival in the parking lot. They will then send you a confirmation of when you can enter the facility lobby for your visit. This offers a better experience for families and friends visiting their loved ones, as well as creating a more efficient scheduling system for staff.
The addition of this scheduling tool doesn’t change any of the visiting procedures or rules.
Phone numbers for scheduling visits:
Red Wing: 651-267-3653
Rush City: 320-358-0481
Lino Lakes: 651-717-6578
Moose Lake: 218-485-5170
St. Cloud: 320-240-3000 ext. 5504
Oak Park Heights: 651-779-1400 select option 3 then select option 6
Willow River: 218-485-2400
Click here for updates on our COVID-19 response.
Personal Planning and Preparation
For up-to-date COVID-19 information, visit the websites of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The best guidance for avoiding COVID-19 is to take the same precautions you take for avoiding colds and flu:
- Stay home when sick.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand. Throw the tissue away when you are done.
- Stay informed. Visit the MDH and CDC websites often.
Thanks for your interest in visiting an incarcerated person at our facilities. Visiting maintains healthy family relationships and community connections. Visiting can help incarcerated people build support networks they will need after release. Research has shown that positive interactions with friends and family during incarceration can help people succeed after they return to their communities.
For these positive interactions to occur, the visiting room must be a secure environment where incarcerated people and families can feel safe. To maintain this environment, incarcerated people and visitors are required to obey the rules of the visiting room. Failure to do so may result in warning, termination of visits, placement on non-contact visiting status, suspension, or revocation of the visiting privilege.
Normal Visiting Schedules
Each facility has an established visiting schedule. Click below for visiting hours.
MCF-Oak Park Heights
MCF-Red Wing (Adult)
MCF-Red Wing (Juvenile)
MCF-Willow River/Moose Lake
Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) - Willow River
Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) - MCF-Togo
There is no visiting on the following State recognized holidays*:
- New Year's Day
- President's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Memorial Day
- July 4 (Independence Day)
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving and the following Friday
- Christmas Day
*Willow River and Togo Challenge Incarceration Program participants may have visitors on holidays IF the holiday falls on a regularly-scheduled visiting day.
Public Transportation Options
Minnesota Public Transportation
Minneapolis Public Transportation
Minnesota Valley Transit Authority
Statewide Visiting Room Rules
Statewide Visiting Room Rules (English)
Reglas de la Sala de Visitas en Todo el Estado (Spanish)
Visiting Restrictions for Visitors (English)
Restricciones de Visita para los Visitantes (Spanish)
Visiting Restrictions for Offenders (English)
Restricciones de Visita para los Delincuentes (Spanish)
Visiting Privilege Application Form - Fillable Online (English) You will need to print off the application and mail in the application.
Solicitud de Privilegio de Visita (Spanish)
Notarized Minor Escort Authorization (English)
Autorización de Acompañantes Menores Notarizados (Spanish)
DOC facilities will only accept a 10/2018 or newer visiting application form. Using old applications causes a delay in the processing time and will result in the application being denied. Please be advised there are multiple outdated visiting applications on other websites not supported be the DOC.
If you have questions about the visiting applications, please contact the Rush City Visiting Unit at 320-358-0400.
No information concerning an inmate’s visiting list will be given over the phone. Anyone wishing to have information will need to present picture ID at any MCF location.
*Be advised that visiting status cannot be disclosed over the phone.
Applications can take several weeks to process once the application has been received in the visiting unit. Your patience is appreciated.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) policy is that if there is an active protective order or no contact directive between the applicant and incarcerated individual, visitation is prohibited.
Victim Services & Restorative Justice Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What led to the current policy?
In 2016, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) changed longstanding policy and established a complete visitation prohibition for anyone identified as a victim of an incarcerated person’s active/current offense. Five years after the change, it became clear that a blanket prohibition failed to fulfill the intended purpose and actually impeded the rehabilitation process in some cases. As this shortcoming became clear, the five statewide coalitions representing victims requested a complete repeal of the policy.
With that request and the input of those impacted by the policy, the DOC decided to revert back to the previous longstanding policy and not deny visiting privileges solely because an applicant is identified as a victim of an incarcerated person’s active/current offense.
2. What is a protective order?
A protective order is ordered by a judge or referee, restricting contact between the incarcerated person and the party(ies) identified. Protective orders include:
• Harassment/Restraining Order (HRO): MN Statute 609.748. Civil court order utilized for contact restrictions where no significant relationship is required between the parties identified in the order.
• Order for Protection (OFP): MN Statute 518B.01. Family court order utilized for contact restrictions when a significant relationship is present.
• Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO): MN Statute 629.75. Criminal court order utilized for contact restrictions during the course of criminal proceedings and/or probation for domestic abuse, harassment/stalking of a household member or a violation of OFP or prior DANCO.
3. How does a protective order or no contact directive affect video visiting?
Protective order conditions can vary. Typically, no contact is allowed and that likely includes video visits, unless a court has explicitly directed that contact can occur while incarcerated. If a visitor is not approved to visit, they are not allowed to participate in video visiting.
4. Can my children continue to visit if I am no longer able to?
Yes. If your children are approved visitors and are not documented as a victim/petitioner on any protective order, they can be approved to visit. However, you cannot escort them for the visit. You must follow the standard minor visitation process and complete the Minor Escort Authorization form granting permission for up to three specified adults to escort the minor(s) for the visit. The specified adult must be on the incarcerated person’s approved visit list.
Please visit the Minnesota Department of Corrections website, click on ‘For Victims’ on the top of the page, for additional information.
Victim Services and Restorative Justice Program staff is available at 651.361.7250 or 1.800.657.3830 or firstname.lastname@example.org