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WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI)

State Prison

Last Updated: January 21, 2020
Address
2925 Columbia Dr, Portage, WI 53901-0950
Beds
650
County
Portage
Security Level
State - maximum
Phone
608-742-9100
Fax
608-742-9111
Mailing Address
PO Box 900, Portage, WI 53901-0950
Facility Type
Adult
Satellite View of WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI)

WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) basic information to help guide you through what you can do for your inmate while they are incarcerated. The facility's direct contact number: 608-742-9100

The inmates housed at Columbia Correctional located at 2925 Columbia Dr in Portage, WI are placed according to their custody level (determined by a number of factors including the past criminal history and the length of their sentence). There are ample educational and vocational training programs for all inmates, especially ones that show a willingness to learn new things that will prepare them for a better life when they are released. The mission is to promote and prepare the offender to leave in better shape than when they arrived, giving them the best chance to never come back and thus lower the state's recidivism rate.

CCI protects the public by detaining adult male felons committed by State Courts to the DOC and readying these men for custody reduction and eventual reintegration into society. Protection of the public is both an immediate and long-range focus, as virtually all inmates will eventually be released. Through a philosophy of strict and constructive treatment, both perspectives are met. CCI opened in 1986 and encompasses 110 acres of land holding ten maximum-security living units, each containing 50 cells; and one 150-bed, minimum-security unit are contained within its perimeter.

In addition to the living complexes, the physical plant of the institution includes a large visiting room, chapel, meeting rooms, health services area, staff offices, an intake and reception area, canteen, laundry, a main kitchen, library, recreation field, gymnasium, an industry building, school, and vocational education workshops.

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The “lifecycle” of an inmate’s incarceration is comprised of three basic components, beginning at intake and continuing through their release into the community.
Reception, Orientation and Assessment
Dodge Correctional Institution (male) and Taycheedah Correctional Institution (female) function as the primary reception or intake sites within the adult prison system. During the intake processes, inmates will be oriented regarding numerous matters, such as:
• Security expectations - institution rules, movement, property regulations, and other safety issues.
• Daily living expectations - hygiene, meals, housekeeping, mail, phone calls, and visiting.
• Business matters - inmate accounts, restitution and other legal obligations, canteen, legal loans, and money transactions.
A primary function of intake is Assessment and Evaluation. Inmates are evaluated by Health Services, Psychological Services, and Classification. This process takes approximately eight weeks. At the conclusion, an Initial Classification staffing is conducted. This staffing determines inmate custody, program assignments, and recommended site placements. After the staffing decision is approved, if a site other than the intake site is selected, inmate transfer will occur as soon as space is available at the receiving site.

Options and Opportunities During Incarceration
When an inmate arrives at his or her assigned facility, they are provided with information about programs available to them while incarcerated.
Aside from primary education, treatment and skills training programs, many other activities are available to inmates during incarceration. These vary by facility and may include:
• Community Service
• Parenting
• Vermaculture
• Dog Training
• Recovery Support Groups
• Veterans Assistance
• Gardening
• Recreation
• Visiting
• Hobby/Craft Activities
• Religious Study & Services
• Work Assignments
• Music
• Restorative Justice
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The DOC is a "Local Education Agency," which can be defined as a public authority legally recognized as an administrative agency for public elementary or secondary education. Within the DOC, the Division of Adult Institutions offers Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Career Technical Education (CTE/Vocational) programs at 18 correctional institutions and nine correctional centers for eligible inmates who are identified as having an academic or vocational need.

The ABE program includes General Education Development (GED); High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED); and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The CTE/Vocational Program includes 23 vocational areas of study, with 13 possible apprenticeship opportunities. As of July 2016, the DOC has added post-secondary educational opportunities for associate and bachelor degree programs, in collaboration with the state's technical college system and four-year colleges and universities. For more information on ABE and CTE/Vocational programs, please see Opportunities and Options Resource Guide, which is available in both English and Spanish.

Screenings and assessments intended to evaluate an inmate’s educational literacy levels and needs are completed as part of DAI’s overall Assessment and Evaluation for Primary Education.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) Programs
• English as a Second Language
• General Education Development (GED)
• High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED)
Career Technical Education (CTE)/Vocational Programs
• Auto Maintenance
• Barbering and Cosmetology
• Braille Transcription
• Building Maintenance and Construction
• Cabinetry and Cabinet Making
• Commercial Bakery
• Computer-Assisted Drafting
• Computer Help Desk
• Computer Literacy
• Computer Numerical Controls
• Culinary Arts and Food Service
• Custodial Services
• Industrial Maintenance Mechanics
• Horticulture
• Institution Food Production
• Machine Tool Operations
• Masonry
• Motorcycle, Marine, and Outdoor Products
• Multi-Operational Aide
• Office Assistant/Aide
• Office Software Applications
• Printing
• Welding

Preparing for Release
The overall goal of pre-release planning is to assist inmates in their preparation for returning to their communities by:
• Providing individualized release planning with an assigned social worker, in connection with an assigned DCC probation and parole agent.
• Encouraging and establishing positive contact with family and/or other support systems to initiate, maintain, and finalize release planning.
• Establishing appropriate post-release residency and treatment plans, as needed.
• Offering options for post-release employment and/or educational opportunities.
• Providing referrals and resources for assistance throughout the pre-release process.
• Encouraging participants to take personal responsibility for his/her actions now and in the future.

Inmate Locator

WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) is a facility in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. The DOC publishes the names of their current inmates and identifies which of their locations the inmate is being held. Your search should start with the first DOC locator to see if your loved one is there. Begin with the first three letters of the offender's first and last name, it does not have to be spelled exactly.

The second box is the InmateAid Inmate Search. This database of inmates is user-generated content for the purpose of accessing and utilizing any or all of the InmateAid services. If you need our assistance creating your own inmate profile to keep in touch, email us at aid@inmateaid.com and we will assist you in locating your inmate.

As a last resort, you might have to pay for that information if we do not have it. The Arrest Record Search will cost you a small amount, but their data is the freshest available and for that reason, they charge to access it.

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Visitation Information

WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) - Visitation

General Population Inmates:
Monday through Friday 1:45 pm to 8:30 pm.-all visitors must be processed by 8:00 pm Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays 8:00 am to 3:00 pm-all visitors must be processed by 2:30 pm

  • Monday through Friday all visits limited to 4 hours.
  • Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays all visits limited to 2 hours.
  • A maximum of three (3) visits per week Monday through Sunday
  • A visitor may visit only once each day.
  • Saturday & Sunday an inmate may have two visits per day with separate visitors.
  • Special or extended visit must be approved in advance by a social worker.

Restrictive Housing Inmates:

  • RH1 & HU7: Mon-Fri 11:30am-1:30pm Sat-Sun 8:00am-11:00am;
  • Maximum 2 visitors: Step 1:1 per week.
  • RH2 & HU7: Mon-Fri 02:00pm-5:00pm Sat-Sun 8:00am-11:00am
  • Step 2: 1 per week-up to 2 hours Step 3: 1 per week-up to 3 hours
  • RH1 & RH7 Step 1 visits in RH1;
  • Administrative Confinement Visits in RH1 RH2 & HU7
  • Step 2 and 3 no-contact visits in Visiting Room

Entry Requirements:
• Must be on an inmate’s visiting list; have photo ID (if over 16) and pass metal detector (denied after 3 attempts).
• Maximum of 5 people per visit; children under 6 years are not counted.
• No provocative clothing such as short skirt or shorts, low tops, spandex-like or tight clothing.
• Coinage, comb and locker key are the only items allowed to be brought in. No gum or candy. No exceptions!
• Infant accessories allowed to be brought in: plastic infant seat, 2 pre-mixed formula in plastic bottles only; see-through pacifier, 4 diapers, baby wipes in a clear package; one baby blanket.
• Emergency visitor medication approved by the Lobby Sergeant.
• Seating and table assignment can only be completed by the Lobby Sergeant. Visiting Rules: The Visiting Room maintains a Family Oriented Environment!
• Passing or receiving illegal items, tobacco products or drugs on a visit will result in referral to local law enforcement, disciplinary action and loss of visiting privileges for both the visitor and the inmate.
• Inmates are responsible for ALL rules and are responsible for their visitor’s behavior.
• An embrace and kiss is allowed at the beginning and end of the visit.
• Inappropriate touching and behavior is not tolerated.
• Inmates must wear clean, state-issued shoes, green/red shirts and pants. No watches, personal shirts or sunglasses.
• Inmates may wear eyeglasses; bring emergency medication, comb/pik, ponytail holder and an approved wedding band.
• Hand holding is allowed but hands must be visible to staff at all times. No hands or arms behind the chairs.
• Inmates must stay seated during the visit and remain in their seat until their visitor(s) have left the visiting area.
• Inmates may hold their children. Parents/guardians are responsible for supervising their children during the visit.
• Photos must be requested in the first 15 minutes of the visit.
• No combing or braiding of anyone’s hair. Shoes are to remain on at all times.
• Talking from table-to-table is NOT allowed.
• Furniture may not be moved or repositioned.
• Visitors are not allowed to leave the visiting area once a visit has started until they are ready to leave. • Inmates must request to use the restroom. Staff escort is required.
• Inmates cannot take anything back with them but the visitor may take uneaten vending purchases.
• Inmates must provide their property “pink slip” if they have packages for visitor pick-up. NOTE: Any visit may be terminated with privileges suspended, no-contact protocol imposed, full to partial revocation or outside Law Enforcement contacted.

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Facility Type

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections is responsible for the operation of WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) where they supervise adults convicted of a state crime and then sentenced to a commitment period by the County or Circuit Judge. The penalty phase of the commitment is the length of the sentence imposed and what type of facility they will spend their time in. Once the inmate is taken into custody there is an orientation period where the offender is evaluated medically and psychologically. The results of their findings will have everything to do with the level of custody the prisoner will be incarcerated.

State prison is also referred to as a correctional facility, penitentiary or detention center and is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Convicted criminals are sent to prison as punishment and must follow very strict rules of conduct and order or they are held to additional punishment like loss of privileges or isolation. The address is 2925 Columbia Dr, Portage, WI located in Portage County.

There is a fundamental difference between jail and prison. It has everything to do with the length of stay for inmates; jail is short-term and prison is long-term. Jail is most commonly used within a criminal justice system for people charged with crimes who must be imprisoned until their trial, or those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified short period of imprisonment. Jails are usually run by local law enforcement county sheriff and/or local government police agencies.

Because prisons are designed for long-term incarceration, they are better developed for the living needs of their populations. State prison offers the inmate a more regular, routine life, the wider range of programs, better facilities and generally better food. The DOC has a bevy of disciplines for which an offender may be classified, they are Reception Centers, High Security (Males), General Population (Males), and Female Offenders.

State prison is very much like a town inside a town. There is a mayor (the warden - call 608-742-9100 for information), a store (the commissary), housing (cells), medical care (infirmary), library (law, education and lending), civic organizations (clubs), worship (chapel), a park (the recreation yard), a cafeteria (chow hall), police (correctional staff), a jail (disciplinary segregation unit, the SHU, the hole), laws (administrative rules), judges (hearings officers), and the inmates all have a job that keeps the institution operational.

There is no privacy in prison - inmates dress, shower, and use the bathroom in the company of other inmates.  Inmates are required to make their bunks and keep their personal possessions neat; All inmates wear identical clothing and must carry their identification card with them at all times.; Most possessions allowed must be purchased from the canteen; Meal times are assigned and inmates have a short time to eat and depart the chow hall, there are no seconds; Inmates are subject to searches of their person and/or cell at any time; All movements of inmates from one area to another are tightly choreographed, monitored and supervised to avaid any incidents between location changes.

Custody/Security Level

State maximum facilities are high-security institutions designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences, and a history of violence and creating problems for the staff. High-security facilities are also referred to as penitentiaries. These prisons are usually behind heavy-duty perimeters, including high, thick walls and reinforced fences. There are cameras situated throughout the buildings for close monitoring of inmate actions. Inmates secured in high-security facilities are not allowed to work out in the field in any community programs.

Housing consists of single and double cells with very limited movement. The cells are self-contained built for 23 hours per day detainment, one-hour for recreation and fresh air. All perimeters are triple-fenced with extensive electronic surveillance. They have no opportunity to socialize with other inmates. They are considered to be the most dangerous of all the incarcerated population.

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How To Send Things

There are strict procedures for everything related to "sending things to an inmate" in a State - maximum facility. This includes sending money for commissary packages, sending mail like letters with photos, magazine subscriptions, buying phone time, postcards and greeting cards, and even distance learning courses (get your degree, you've got a lot of extra time). You also need to know about visitation, what are the hours and rules.

All of the information you could ever need to know is below, patiently scroll the page and get as much information about WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) that you'd ever want to know. If there is anything that you were looking for, but don't see, please email us at aid@inmateaid.com.

How To Send Money:

How to Send an Inmate Money in Wisconsin

These are general guidelines for sending money to an inmate's commissary account. Inmates need money to access several privileges like weekly shopping at the commissary, making phone calls, using the email service where offered, using the electronic tablets where offered and paying their co-pay when needing the medical or dental services.

What is a Commissary?

A commissary is a store within the correctional institution. Commissary day is usually held once a week and can only be enjoyed if the inmate has funds in their commissary account. An inmate's commissary account is like a bank account within the prison. If the inmate has a job, their paycheck is deposited into this account, too.

The Commissary sells various products that the inmates may purchase if they have money on their books. The commissary sells clothing, shoes, snacks and food, as well as hygienic products like soap, shampoo, and shavers. The commissary might also sell entertainment-related products like books, magazines, televisions, radios, playing cards, headphones, MP3 players, electronic tablets like an iPad (no internet access), songs and educational programming.

How you send money to an inmate?

Sending money to an inmate varies from state to state, depending if it is county, state or federal, their ways of accepting money for inmates’ changes by the money transfer company they’ve contracted with.

Federal Prisons and some state-level prisons have centralized banking systems which means that you do not need to know where they are specifically, just that they are in the state systems of for instance the California, Texas, Florida DOC or the FBOP to name a few.

Some facilities will allow you to deposit cash through the lobby window stand-alone kiosk in the lobby or visitation room. Most facilities will also accept a postal money order mailed to the institution’s inmate mailing address made payable to the full inmate’s name.

Electronic banking allows friends and family members to send the funds online, and correctional departments are starting to favor this method because it is less work for staff and more accurate/easier to keep track of, as well as being more convenient.

Regardless of the method of sending funds, there are several key things you will need to know:
• Inmate’s full committed name
• Inmate’s ID number
• Inmate’s location – or a system like the federal BOP

Before sending any funds you should find out what online transfer companies the institution your inmate is incarcerated in uses. You can find this information on our site by navigating to the facilities page click on the Money Transfer button under the address and phone number. Pay close attention to the rules of the facility. Sometimes they will require money senders are on the inmate's visitation list. Some correctional facilities have a deposit limit, like $200-300 at a time, but in federal, there is no limit.

Some of the money transfer firms are MoneyGram, JPay, OffenderConnect, Access Corrections, JailATM, CommissaryDeposit

Who else can access the money you send?

An inmate with fines or restitution will be subject to commissary/trust account garnishment. If the inmate has these financial obligations, they will be extracted from the inmate’s bank account. It may be a percentage or the entire amount depending on the situation. We recommend inmates who are going into their bid contact the counselor and make an arrangement beforehand. If you go in knowing they are taking 20-25% of all deposits is better than have them take it all and you find out in the commissary line when the account is zero.

Why is my inmate asking for more than I normally send?

This is generally a signal that the inmate is doing something they shouldn’t and need money to get them out of or through a situation. It could be gambling, it could be extortion it could be other things you don’t need to know on this forum (for now). Set boundaries with your inmate. Tell them that “this is the amount I can send each month” and that is it. There are no extras beyond the boundary. Also, NEVER send money to the account of another inmate on your inmate’s instruction. This is a sign that something is not right. If the corrections people discover this, and they do more times than not, it will result in some severe disciplinary action to the inmate, and certainly the loss of all privileges.

Who can I call if I suspect something?

We recommend speaking with the counselor or case manager of the facility and use a generic reference in the event that your suspicions are wrong. You needn’t put them in a more difficult position if they are.

How do I send money using MoneyGram?

Inmate Care Packages:

How to Buy Inmate Commissary Care Packages Online

Show your loved one how much you care – order a package today! The facilities usually have a weekly limit of about $100 per inmate, plus processing and tax. The orders do NOT count towards the inmates weekly commissary allowances Deposits can be made online for inmates 24/7 using a credit/debit card

There are also a few services that allow you how to order inmate commissary online. These trusted providers are approved and share revenue with the prisons from the sales to the inmates.

Here is a list of other similar programs prison commissary: Keefe Group, Access Securpak, iCareGifts, Union Supply Direct, Walkenhorst's, CareACell

Inmate Commissary:

What is Inmate Commissary?

Prison commissary (also sometimes referred to as inmate canteen) is a store for inmates housed within a correctional facility. While the very most basics may be provided for by a given correctional department, there are also other important goods/services that Florida prisoners and inmates must buy. For instance, supplies such as supplementary food, female hygiene products, books, writing utensils and a plethora of other things are examples of things that can be purchased as part of an inmate commissary packages for goods.

What is an Inmate trust account?

When you add money to an inmate account, the prison funds are stored on an inmate trust fund. This prison account basically acts as a personal bank account of an inmate. They will use this account to make Inmate Calls, pay for postage to Send Photos from Inmates, send emails from inmates, purchase Items from Commissary, receive wages from jobs, and more.

How To Send Mail:

This is how to send your inmate at WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) letters, photos, postcards, greeting cards and magazines

Incoming and outgoing inmate mail is subject to inspection for the presence of contraband that might threaten the safety, security or well-being of the jail/facility, its staff, and residents. Inmates may receive only metered, unstamped, plain white postcards no larger than 4" x 6" as mail. Writing must be in pencil or blue or black ink. Any other mail will be returned to the sender. If no return address is available, unauthorized mail will be stored in the inmate's locker until the inmate's release.

Inmate mail cannot contain any of the following: Create an immediate threat to jail order by describing the manufacture of weapons, bombs, incendiary devices, or tools for escape that realistically are a danger to jail security; Advocate violence, racial supremacy or ethnic purity; No current inmate-to-inmate mail will be allowed and will be destroyed.

The easiest workaround is to look over the mailing services of InmateAid. We have an automated system for sending your loved one that special message or picture. We send thousands of pieces of mail per month with NO issues with the prisons or jails. The envelopes display the InmateAid logo, the mail room knows for certain that the contents will not be compromising. This trust was established in 2012.

How To Send Greeting Cards and Postcards:

Greeting cards are great for the holidays and birthdays. The ones from the store often have more than just the message because the policies surrounding appropriate content (no nudity or sexually suggestive material no matter how funny), and they cannot have glitter, stickers or anything else that makes the card different from a normal plain old card. Instead of going to the Hallmark store in the mall and looking around for hours - go to our easy to search Greeting Cards service.

It takes literally 45 seconds and it's very affordable for what you're getting (and what they are getting, too!). Select from 100s of birthday, anniversary and every holiday you can think of, and VERY easy to send from your phone on InmateAid:

Don't forget Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, Father's Day, New Year's, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Passover, Easter, Kwanzaa or Valentine's Day!

In less than a minute and only $0.99, this act of kindness will be worth a million to your inmate. If you have a picture or two and don't want to write a long letter. Type out a little love in the message box and send your latest selfie... only 99 cents!

Don't wait until the moment has passed, it's easy and convenient to let them know you're thinking of them at every moment.

How To Send magazines and Books:

Send magazines to WI DOC - Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) at 2925 Columbia Dr, Portage, WI

Send the best magazines and books to your Inmate in jail or prison, it's the gift that keeps on giving all year round, There is nothing more exciting to an inmate (besides their release date) than getting their favorite magazine every month at mail call.

Magazines and books must come directly from the publisher. You are not allowed to send single magazines in an envelope. They need to come directly from the publisher with your inmate's name affixed to the address label. Magazine subscriptions are easy to set up, it takes literally 2 minutes.

You know when you go into the grocery and browse the new magazines on display? You see hundreds. Inside they place a little card that if you fill it out and send it in with your inmate's name, ID number and facility address - you drop it in the mail and in 8-12 weeks your inmate gets an issue every month for a whole year. Thankfully, there is an easier way, just CLICK here and browse yourself. Select a title or two and add your inmate's name to the order. It's fast, it's reliable and it's at a discounted rate for your convenience.

How To Save Money on Inmate Calls

The prison phone companies have a monopoly at the facility they have a contract with. Profits are shared so there is no incentive for their representatives to show you how to save money. They post their rates and in almost every case, there are at least two pricing tiers. Depending on where you are and where your inmate is, the type of phone number you use will make all the difference.

In federal prison, the answer is simply that a new local number will change your inmate's call rate from $.21 per minute to only $.06 per minute. Fed gives you only 300 minutes per month, the local line service is only $5.00, no hidden fees or bundling of other unwanted service charges

For the other facilities that are not federal, it used to be that a local number was the answer. Now, its market intelligence and InmateAid has made it their business to know what the best deal is in every scenario. And we can tell you that in 30% of the cases, we cannot save you a penny - and neither can anyone else. But we will give you a refund if we can't save you money.

For more specific information on inmate calls, you will want to navigate to the facility your inmate is incarcerated in through our site by going to Prison Directory and following the links to the Discount Telephone Service - get an honest estimate before you buy.

Ask The Inmate

Ask a former inmate questions at no charge. The inmate answering has spent considerable time in the federal prison system, state and county jails, and in a prison that was run by the private prison entity CCA. Ask your question or browse previous questions in response to comments or further questions of members of the InmateAid community.

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