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Visiting Application and FAQ for Visiting a North Dakota DOC Inmate

Visitation can also give an inmate hope and something to look forward to during their incarceration.  People often feel discouraged and overwhelmed when they think of visiting an inmate and don't know where to begin the process.  To make it easier for everyone and to encourage people to visit we have assembled the things you should know to visit an inmate in North Dakota.

All male individuals sentenced to the NDDOCR are received at the North Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP) in Bismarck. New arrivals will go through an orientation program for approximately four weeks. During orientation, the rules are explained, and various staff members provide information on the programs available. Upon completion of orientation, the Classification Committee meets with the inmate and assigns them a custody level, housing unit, and recommends programming (work, education, and therapy) that may be beneficial for the inmate during their incarceration. The inmate is then placed in general population at the NDSP, the James River Correctional Center (JRCC) in Jamestown, or the Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC) in Bismarck. Female inmates go through a similar orientation process at the Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehabilitation Center (DWCRC) in New England.

  • Inmates will establish a visiting list when they first arrive at the prison.  The list will require the inmate know the full name, address and telephone numbers of the visitor.
  • Inmates are allowed to have eight friends, two clergy members, and unlimited relatives (relatives are a spouse, children, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, in-laws, grandchildren, aunts/uncles).
  • All visitors over the age of 16 must complete a North Dakota Inmate Visitors Application.  Before you can visit the inmate your application must be submitted and approved.  Incomplete forms will not be accepted.
  • If you are visiting with a minor, you must complete a North Dakota Minor Visitors Application.
  • Inmates are allowed up to 20 hours of visiting each month.
  • All visitors over the age of 16 must provide a valid photo ID such as a driver's license, state ID, Military ID or passport.  If you do not have valid identification with you, your visit will be denied.
  • Visitors may only enter the facility with a single car key, identification, and a small amount of money to purchase food items from the visiting room vending machines.
  • Tobacco and tobacco-related products such as lighters and matches must be left in your car.
  • Cell phones, recording devices, cameras, music devices, and other electronics are not allowed to enter into the facility.  Leave these items in your car.
  • Some facilities will have lockers available to store your items in for a small fee.
  • All visitors are searched and must pass through a metal detector in order to enter into visitation.  The facility may utilize canines to aid in the search and to prevent contraband from entering the prison.
  • If you are visiting with a minor (anyone under the age of 16) you may be required to bring a birth certificate establishing you as their parent for them to enter into visitation with you.

When visiting an inmate in North Dakota, some additional information you may want to know:

  • Non-contact visitation is conducted behind a window, or partition that keeps you physically separate from the inmate.
  • Contact visits allow you to visit with no divider between you and your inmate.
  • If you are traveling an extremely long distance to visit your inmate, you may be eligible for a special visit, contact the inmate's counselor for more information.
  • If you are visiting with an infant or small child you may be permitted to bring additional items with you such as diapers, wipes, and a plastic baby bottle.  Contact the specific institution and ask what their policies are.

Dress Code and Rules for Visitors of North Dakota Inmates

For the safety, security, and order of the institution, all visitors are required to follow a dress code.  The dress code is strictly enforced and failure to follow it will result in the denial of your visit.  Ultimately, it is up to the staff to determine if an item of clothing you are wearing violates the dress code.  Because interpretations of dress can vary between staff members we suggest you always leave a change of clothes in your car.  This enables you to quickly change if a staff member objects to an article of clothes you are wearing.

  • When visiting you must refrain from talking to other visitors and inmates other than the one you are there to visit.
  • You may hold hands with your inmate above the table in view of the guards only.
  • If you are visiting with children they must remain well behaved and in your control at all times.  Failure to control your children will result in the visit being terminated.
  • All visitors must wear shoes (closed toe) and undergarments at all times.
  • No hats, jewelry (except wedding rings), coats may be worn in the visiting room.
  • Shorts and sweatpants are not allowed.
  • Pants may not have holes in them.
  • Any clothing that exposes the midriff, back, shoulders, cleavage, thighs or other excessive skin is not allowed.  Necklines on clothing must be within two inches of the notch of the neck.
  • Sheer, see-through or mesh clothing is not allowed.  If the clothing is tight such as spandex, leggings, tube tops, or tank tops it is prohibited.
  • Uniforms such as military or doctors/nurse scrubs are restricted from being worn.
  • Skirts, shorts, and dresses that are two inches above the knee or have a slit above the knee are not allowed.
  • If your clothing contains offensive language or images you will not be allowed to visit.

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