Monday, July 30, 2012

Visiting an Inmate at Yaphank Correctional Facility

What is it like to visit someone in  Yaphank  Correctional Facility or Yaphank Jail? Knowing what to expect will make the experience easier on everyone involved. 

Visiting friends or family members who have been incarcerated can be traumatic, and emotional. It can also do a world of good for the individual who is in jail. I try to keep this in mind when I have to go there as the person I visit is a close family memeber. So even though  an intimidating event, the experience is well worth it if he or she get's something out of it. This guide will help visitors to prepare for the day ahead.

Call ahead (631) 852-1893 or (631) 852-1894

Telephone the facility ahead of time as per the rules you have to make an appointment to have a visit with an inmate there.  It is kind of frustrating as the phone is usually busy, so you have to keep trying.  If you're not persistent you run the risk of all the appointments being filled and then you can't make one and will have to try to do what they call a walk in. Walkin's are done by last name. Here is what the visitors guide lists for Riverhead Correctional facility, which is the same for guide for Yaphank Correctional (although it doesn't say that). Another thing the manual doesn't state is that they only do 5 walkins so they say to get there a half hour early for a scheduled visit, I have learned for a walkin get there 45 min early.  That will increase your chances of an unscheduled visit or AKA walkin.

2:30-3:30 pm  B-E-Z        (Odd Days)    D-S-V (Even Days)
4:00-5:00 pm  M-P-Q-X   (Odd Days)    F-G-J-Y (Even Days)
6:45-7:45 pm  C-K-W      (Odd Days)    L-N-T (Even Days)
8:15-9:15 pm  O-U-R       (Odd Days)    A-H-I (Even Days)

Example: If the person that you are visiting has a last name of SMITH, you would be able to do a walkin on an even day of the month, between the hours of 2:30 to 3:30 pm EST. 

Here is the Address:

69 Yaphank Avenue
Yaphank, NY 11980

Here is a Google Map for the address

Don’t bring gifts.

There is a list of items they can have and you can always drop off money, but keep in mind if you are dropping off money for commissary the rules for Yaphank is the inmate can only spend $25.00 twice a week.  So I keep the budget to 50.00 at most, leaving more is senseless seeing that they can't use it. Here is the list that again is in the Riverhead Correctional Facility Guide:

2 females/Night gowns (plain & white only)
7 females/Sports bras (no metal)
2 pairs Sweat shirts (green or white)
7 Tee shirts (white)
2 pairs Sweat pants (green or white)
2 Gym shorts (green or white)
2 Towels 2’ by 4’ maximum (white)
2 pairs Thermals (white or off-white)
5 Books (paperback only)
5 Magazines
2 Newspapers (current)
15 Photos 5”x 7” maximum (No Polaroid)
1 Prayer rug
1 Kuffi (green or white)
1 Wedding band (plain)
2 sets Court clothes- (see Court clothing)

I purchased a green sweat suit for the person I am visiting.  The cost was about 39.00 from Models, however if you aren't local and want to send a package here is the address below. Don't forget to get the inmate ID number and to put your return address on there to ensure proper delivery.  If you are going to do any clothing remember NO POCKETS and the colors they are allowed to have is HUNTER GREEN AND WHITE.  

Suffolk County Correctional Facility
110 Center Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901

Leave Your Personal Stuff Behind

Visitors are required to lock up personal items, including jackets, wallets and purses, before being permitted to enter the detainment area. Leave personal belongings behind, jewelry, pocket books, money, change.  They do give you a locker to place your stuff in but I don't like doing that.  When the visit is over an officer comes out and opens all the lockers at the same time.  It's very uncomfortable when you are waiting in line to get out of a cage and see you locker open with all YOUR valuables in it and surrounded by strangers.  If weather permits, leave these items at home or inside your vehicle. Bring only your photo identification for check-in.

Check in

Visitors are required to check in at a reception area. You will be required to state your name of the inmate before being permitted to visit him or her. Visitors are required to walk through a metal detector before entering the area where inmates are held. Avoid wearing steel-toed shoes, metal belts and excessive jewelry. The same standard is held as when boarding an airplane. You are also required to remove items of clothing such as shoes and accessories like hair clips before being permitted to visit.


When you visit a friend or family member in Yaphank Correctional facility, you will be able to converse with this person across a VERY long table.  There is no barrier as it is only a minimum security facility.  It's almost like a big lunch table at a college campus.  The inmates on one side of the table and the visitors on the other.  I also did not mention that they are allowed 2 visitors at a time and 2 visits a week.  Your conversations is not recorded but is an earshot of other visitors or facility staff members. Privacy is not an option.

Visiting any correctional facility with someone or a loved one that is  incarcerated can be an emotionally draining experience, especially for close family members. Be prepared to ensure your visit goes smoothly, and know what to expect. I hope you find this information helpful.