Family and Visitor Information: What to Know about Allowable Items and Contraband Items While Visiting

We wish to make visits safe and enjoyable for patients as well as family members and guests. There are specific guidelines for what is permitted and what is prohibited during visits and in the Visitor Center. Please read this entire page thoroughly BEFORE your visit to prevent delays.

All visitors will be processed for the detection of contraband upon entering and departing the Visitor Center.  If the visitor refuses the search the visit may be denied and the visitor will be ordered to leave the hospital grounds. All items brought to the Visiting Center are subject to a thorough visual search by the CDCR/HPD Officers.


It is now a misdemeanor (Welfare and Institutions code 4139) to deliver to a patient in a State Hospital any of the following items:
  • A cellular telephone or other wireless communication device, or any component thereof, including, but not limited to, a subscriber identity card (SIM card) or memory storage device.
  • Tobacco products.
  • Money, in excess of the limitations and restrictions adopted by the state hospital.

Random Searches: In order to achieve the goal of providing a safe and therapeutic environment, individual patients, employees and visitors are subject to random searches and/or search for cause in an effort to control contraband.

Purses and Personal Possessions: It is recommended that all visitors leave their purses and any other hand-carried visitor property in their vehicles if possible. If these items are brought to the Visiting Center, they will be placed in a locker (limited availability), and the key will be retained by the visitor.

Items Patients Can Keep in their Possession: There are also strict guidelines on what are allowable items and contraband for patients to have in their possession. Before you bring any times to give to your loved one who is a patient, make sure to review Allowable Items and Contraband Policy for Patient to have in their Possession . Any Visitor who is found to be in violation of the hospital's policies regarding the introduction of contraband into the facility may have their authorization to visit withdrawn for a minimum of 30 days.

Items NOT Allowed on Hospital Grounds

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • drugs
  • cigarettes/tobacco products
  • poisons
  • glue
  • firearms
  • weapons
  • cameras
  • recording devices
  • pets

Items Allowed in Visiting Center

When visitors have children with them, they are permitted to the take the following items into the Visting Room:

  • one (1) baby carrier/car seat;
  • one (1) baby blanket;
  • three (3) diapers;
  • three (3) clear plastic bottles;
  • one (1) container of baby wipes;
  • one (1) toy (noiseless and non-stuffed).

Items NOT Allowed in Visiting Center

  • Radios
  • Televisions
  • Musical instruments
  • Diaper bags
  • Strollers
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Papers
  • Books
  • Written Materials
  • Documents
  •  Bibles (Bibles are available from Visitor Center staff)
  • No items (e.g. money, packages, gifts, property, etc.) will be accepted or exchanged between visitors and patients, and CDCR/HPD Officers or Patton State Hospital clinical staff. 
  • Patients are not allowed to sign or receive any legal documents, personal checks, money orders, etc., while in the Visiting Center.
  • CDCR/HPD Officers and Patton State Hospital Visiting Center staff are prohibited from accepting cash or checks for delivery to patients or to the Trust Office. For more information, see Visitor and Family Information - Trust Office.
  • Non-Allowable Items Related to the Consumption of Food:
    • No coolers/ice chests
    • No liquid refreshments or ice other than those available in the Visiting Center
    • No thermos bottles or other open containers containing liquid refreshments
    • No faulty or leaking containers
    • No whole melon-type foods
    • No metal knives, spoons, and forks
    • No glass utensils or containers
    • No tin foil
    • No tablecloths
    • Items requiring refrigeration after opening will not be allowed. These items must be purchased from the Canteen.