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Visiting an Inmate in the Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Complex in New York

Despite their toughness on crime, the New York City Department of Corrections recognizes the importance of keeping in touch with family members or friends during a period of incarceration, and they encourage visitation periods. They have a number of programs to help ease the inmate back to society after their time in jail is up, and this includes these visitation periods to make their stay more endurable. As compassionate as they are about visitations and the general well-being of an inmate and their loved ones, they also have rules and guidelines to adhere to.

Visitations are from Wednesday through Sunday every week – absolutely no visitations are allowed on Mondays or Tuesdays. There are different schedules for visitations every month, so please visit this site to view a complete schedule to know when you can visit an inmate. Inmates can have up to 3 visitors during a single session, and they are permitted only one visitation a day.

In order to visit an inmate, you must register by the time posted on the aforementioned website in order to ensure your visitation period. The times can vary due to unforeseen circumstances. Also, if you are over 18, you are required to present a valid ID. A driver's license will do, but you can also use a state or government issued ID, a passport, or a military ID. A list of all acceptable IDs can be viewed here. Visitors under the age of 16 are not required to show ID, but they must be accompanied by someone over the age of 18. Individuals aged 16 or 17  with valid identification may accompany a child under the age of 16 if he or she is the parent of that child and the inmate being visited is also the parent of the same child.  In this case, the 16- or 17-year-old must produce a birth certificate for the child under the age of 16, as per New York City standards. Also refer to the aforementioned website for dress codes and what to bring and what not to bring during a visit. Please refer to this article if you have any more questions on any additional guidelines of a jail visit. Unless, of course, you want to end up an inmate at Rikers.

Visiting a family member or a loved one in jail is another way to keep the lines of communication open. A period of incarceration can be tough on friends and family, and especially for the inmate, but keeping in touch is very important. It's a part of the healing process during a difficult time such as this, and while these visits are definitely not under the most ideal of circumstances, they mean a lot to everyone involved.

RELATED: Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Cplx Inmate Search

RELATED: Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Cplx Inmate Services


writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

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How to use the Inmate Search for Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Complex in New York

Built in 1972, the Robert N. Davoren Center was renamed after the former police chief in May 2006. It holds over 2,200 inmates and houses adolescent males ages 16-18, and adult males – in separate quarters, of course.

If you have a friend or a family member currently incarcerated at the RNDC you can look them up easily. All you have to do is go to this website, and click on the "Inmate Lookup" link on the left hand side of the screen. It will direct you to the New York City Department of Corrections inmate lookup page. With this site, you have to be very specific on who you are looking for. You have to know the inmate's case number, or a full first & last name, as well as a date of birth in order to execute a successful search. No looking up inmates for fun or curiosity!

The search database for the NYC Department of Corrections has been reported not to work on some occasions. There is an alternate way to look up an inmate by using the VINELINK inmate search, located here, so you don't need to worry about looking someone up. It will give you a number to call if you want to look up an inmate, or for other inmate information. That number is 1-866-847-1298. It also provides e-mail notifications and other services. It also gives you a link to the New York State Department of Corrections, and you can execute a search that way. The only problematic thing about this search database is that it covers inmates in the entire state, and since New York State has a very sizeable population (third in the nation after California and Texas), locating your inmate may be a little difficult.

RELATED: Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Cplx Inmate Search

RELATED: Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Cplx Inmate Services


writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

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Communicating with an Inmate Housed at the Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Complex in New York

The New York City Department of Corrections is very tough on crime – they don't mess around. Especially after September 11th, they don't leave any stones unturned. Despite their tough-as-nails approach to crime, they do allow inmates to send and receive mail. They understand that inmates are humans, too, as well as their families and loved ones.
In order to write a letter, you need the inmate's full name, the inmate's book and case number, and the full address of the facility they are housed in. Also, please apply the appropriate postage to ensure the inmate receiving your letter. 

The address for the Robert N. Davoren Center is:

Robert N. Davoren Center (RNDC)
11-11 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, NY 11370

There aren't any restrictions on printed material or letters that you can send an inmate as far as how much you can send someone, but pornographic material and images deemed inappropriate will be confiscated. Also, if you choose to send photographs, there are also a few rules to follow: no Polaroid photos, nothing pornographic or inappropriate, and no pictures of the inmate – inmates have used pictures of themselves in the past in order to create phony passes to ensure escaping!

The staff at RNDC also allows you to send items and packages through the mail, so long as their guidelines are precisely followed. Permissible items may be mailed to the inmate, and they cannot exceed fifteen pounds. The packages must also be less than twenty-four inches (24") wide, twelve inches (12") high, and twenty-four inches (24") deep. For a complete list of what can be sent to an inmate via mail, please refer to this website. Please note that if you do knowingly send contraband to an inmate, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As New York City is fairly liberal on what you can send to an inmate during their stay in jail, they are also very tough on crime, so be cautious and respectful to their rules and regulations! You don't want to end up at Rikers yourself.

Writing and sending mail to an inmate keeps the lines of communication open, and it shows the inmate that you care for them. If you are a family member or a loved one, a period of incarceration can be very difficult and tough emotionally as well as physically, but sending letters is a good way to keep in touch during this period, and sending them items will make their time in jail somewhat easier. It always helps when you know someone has your back.

RELATED: Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Cplx Inmate Search

RELATED: Rikers - Robert N. Davoren Cplx Inmate Services


writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

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