Visiting as an unaccompanied minor

If you are 16- or 17-years old, you can apply to visit an incarcerated parent or legal guardian by yourself.

In this page:
Apply to visit by yourself as an unaccompanied minor.

Apply to visit an incarcerated parent or legal guardian as an unaccompanied minor.

If you are 16- or 17-years-old, you can apply to visit an incarcerated parent or legal guardian. You will need to include the parent or legal guardian who is responsible for you outside of jail in your application process. Follow these steps to apply:


Step 1: Application 

  1. Complete the application online 
  2. Type in all your information.
  3. When you complete the application, click send.
  4. Find at least one of your original “proof of age” documents – for example, California ID, birth certificate, school transcripts, or court order.
  5. Find at least one of your original documents that show “proof of your relationship with the incarcerated person” – such as your birth certificate or court order. 

Step 2: Interview

  1. Request an interview with a family counselor at (415) 575-4459. Leave a message with your name and phone number.
  2. The counselor will call you back and schedule a time to talk with you in person.
  3. Bring your documents that prove your age and your relationship with your incarcerated parent or guardian, to your scheduled interview. 
  4. The parent or guardian who is responsible for you outside of jail must attend your interview with the counselor.
  5. The counselor will interview you at the scheduled time and explain the approval process. 
  6. You will sign your emailed application in front of the counselor. 

Step 3: Approval

  1. The counselor will provide your application, documents, interview summary, and their recommendation to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) for approval.
  2. SFSD will get your incarcerated parent or guardian’s signature.
  3. SFSD will review your complete application. This takes between five days and two weeks. 
  4. If you receive approval, you may schedule your jail visits online.
  5. If your application is refused, you may appeal this decision within 30 days of being notified.

Parent and child visits

One Family supports children’s visits with their incarcerated parent or guardian in San Francisco County jails.

Visit the One Family website

San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents (SFCIPP)

SFCIPP works to improve the lives of children whose parents are in jail. 

Visit the SFCIPP website

ID and paperwork support

To get help with the identification and paperwork you need to apply to the unaccompanied minor visitation program, contact Project What!  Call (510) 486-2340 or send an email to

Visitation Rules

You must follow the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office rules for visiting people in jail. If you do not follow the rules, you will not be allowed to visit your family member.

Read visitation rules

Contact Information

Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.:
(415) 554-7225 
All other times, including weekends and holidays: (415) 553-1444 


Can I bring others with me?

Once I am approved for visits, may I bring other unaccompanied minors with me to visit? 

No. However, if we receive several applications for the same person in jail, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) will review the requests and schedule visits on a case by case basis.

How do I schedule visits?

Once you are approved for visits, you can make reservations through our online scheduler.

Use our online scheduling tool

Schedule your visit online
When is my application no longer valid?

Does my unaccompanied minor visitation approval expire?

Your approval lasts as long as your family member’s current incarceration. Your approval will expire once your family member is released from custody. 

Get Help

Community Works West: One Family