Updated: (March 4, 2021) In-person visiting at MCF-Rush City will resume on March 6th and at MCF-St. Cloud on March 11th.
Please read our message below the visiting procedures about the new Online Scheduling Option for scheduling visits.
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:
- Rush City
- Willow River
- St. Cloud
Visiting is open at these facilities:
- Lino Lakes
- Moose Lake
- Oak Park Heights
- Red Wing
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 up-to-the-minute communication 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.
- 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/
New 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 new 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 inmate at our facilities. Visiting maintains healthy family relationships and community connections. Visiting can help inmates 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 inmates and families can feel safe. To maintain this environment, inmates 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
Victims of an active offense are prohibited from visiting incarcerated individuals.
Victim Visitation Restriction FAQs
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.