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Visiting Help & Support

The correctional system, with all of its rules and processes, can be challenging to understand without assistance. This page is intended to bridge that gap by providing information, connection to services and assistance in finding visiting help and support resources.

Appeal Process

A visitor may appeal an initial visit application, denial visit privilege restrictions/suspensions/terminations, and/or Visit Multidisciplinary Team decisions in writing to the Headquarters Correctional Program Administrator. A written decision will be mailed through the USPS when email is not an option for notification to the visitor.

See the DOC Policy 450.300 Visits for Incarcerated Individuals (pdf) for more information.

Lodging Assistance Program (LAP)

The Washington State Department of Corrections supports family friendly programs that focus on strengthening the relationship between incarcerated individuals and their loved ones. Studies show that a strong familial relationship and support system reduces recidivism, reduces the likelihood of intergenerational incarceration, and increases the likelihood of a successful reentry into the community upon release, thus creating safer communities.

Many families are not able to make the trip to see their incarcerated loved one due to the financial burden that it creates. In an effort to make this more affordable, the Department of Corrections has created the Lodging Assistance Program (LAP) which will pay $50.00 towards the cost of a hotel stay for qualifying applicants who travel over 150 miles to visit the facility. This program is offered as funding is available through the Incarcerated Individuals Betterment Fund – Family Friendly Lodging Assistance Program.

For questions or assistance with the Lodging Assistance Program, please contact the Family Services Unit.


  • 1 stay per month per incarcerated individual. If you cancel an approved reservation prior to the date of stay, it will not count towards the one stay per month per incarcerated individual.
  • Must apply at least 20 days (and no more than 90 days) in advance to allow time for processing of application.
    • Applicant cannot re-apply for assistance until the current stay has been used.
    • Exceptions to the timelines may be made, especially during the first 3 months of the program and for those with extensive travel plans.
  • Be sure to check cancellation policy with the hotel/motel prior your stay. If reservation gets cancelled or visitor does not arrive at hotel/motel, visitor is fully financially responsible as agreed upon with the hotel/motel when reservation was made, and DOC will not assist in the funding for that stay.
  • Check the family friendly and visitation calendars on the website under Prison Visits to confirm the days you are wanting to visit are available prior to making your reservation.
    • NOTE: Having a hotel/motel reservation does not serve as exception or give precedence in participating in special event.
  • If my reservation is cancelled or if I do not show for an existing reservation, I understand that I am fully responsible for any costs charged as agreed upon with the designated hotel when I made my reservation.
  • Visitor will be denied future use of funding assistance if misuse is determined.

Qualifying Criteria

In order to receive the lodging assistance program, you need to meet the following qualifications:

  • Must travel over 150 miles each direction to visit your loved one
  • Address must be current with the Visitation Program. To update your address, email the Visitation Unit
  • Must have current photo ID with matching address
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old and on the incarcerated individual’s approved visit list

Lodging Options

There are two lodging options available for visitors who are traveling over 150 miles (one way) to visit their incarcerated family member. Both options require pre-approval:

  1. Stay at the Hotel/Motel of Your Choice and get reimbursed $50: Submit a copy of your paid hotel receipt and pre-approval confirmation, and you will be reimbursed directly in the amount of $50 or your cost of the stay, whichever is less as long as the stay was pre-approved.
  2. Stay at a Participating Hotel/Motel and pay all but $50: If booking with a participating hotel/motel, the hotel/motel will bill the guest all but $50. The remaining $50 will be billed to DOC Lodging Assistance Program and payment will be made directly to the hotel/motel as long as the stay was pre-approved. For a current list of participating hotels/motels, please contact the Family Services Unit.

How to Apply

  1. Schedule your visit (if needed)
  2. Make your reservation! If you are wanting to stay in one of our partnering hotel/motels, and pay all but $50.00 of your bill, be sure to check out the most recent list of participating hotel/motels. For a current list of participating hotels/motels, please contact the Family Services Unit.
  3. Complete and submit Lodging Assistance Program Application (pdf).
  4. Once you are approved, you will receive an email and you are all set!
  5. Enjoy your stay!
    • If pre-approved to stay at partnering hotel/motel, you will pay for all but $50.00 of your hotel bill. The hotel will bill the DOC Lodging Assistance Program after your stay. Payment will be made directly to the hotel/motel.
      • This option may not be available for reservations made through a third party such as Expedia, Travelocity, etc. or when pre-payment is required.
      • Participating hotels/motels are subject to change, so be sure to please contact the Family Services Unit prior to applying to make sure the hotel is on the approved list.
    • If choosing your own hotel and will be paying for your hotel stay first then requesting $50 reimbursement, submit a copy of your pre-approved application (pdf) along with a copy of your paid hotel receipt to the Lodging Assistance Program.