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North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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3100 Railroad Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501

701.328.6390 · Phone
701.328.6651 · Fax

For issues or problems with the website please email the webmaster at: docr@nd.gov

Adult Corrections

DOCR Division of Adult Services

The DOCR Division of Adult Services includes three separate prisons located in three different areas. The North Dakota State Penitentiary was established in Bismarck in 1885, and houses 520 maximum and medium security male inmates. The goal of the prison is to keep the public safe, while also offering habilitative work, treatment, and educational programs that will effect change in the inmate's behavior. The James River Correctional Center was opened in 1998 on the grounds of the State Hospital in Jamestown. This facility can house about 400 male medium security inmates. A 24 bed unit called the Special Assistance Unit is also located at JRCC that housed inmates with serious mental illness or require special assistance. The Missouri River Correctional Center located four miles southwest of Bismarck, was first established in the 1940's as the State Farm. It has since grown to a 151-bed facility for minimum security males. Although some agricultural work is still performed there, the current purpose of the MRCC is to reintegrate offenders into society by offering work release and community treatment programming.

The NDSP, in Bismarck, is the original prison complex for the state and houses maximum to minimum high custody inmates. JRCC, located in Jamestown, is designed to hold medium-security male inmates. The MRCC, in southwest Bismarck, houses minimum low and community custody male inmates.

In order to meet the needs of the inmate population, our services are divided into several areas of operations at each facility:


The Security Department is responsible for the safety and security of the inmate population and staff. The Security Department conducts the daily operations of the institution. This department provides basic security, care, custody, and control for the population. The correctional officers maintain a high degree of training and efficiency. These men and women make the institution a safe place to work and live. They are the trouble shooters, the basic supervisors and guardians of inmate rights and privileges. Without dedicated security personnel, this institution would cease to function as a safe place to conduct work and rehabilitation programs.


Unit Management is a "team" approach which utilizes a multi-disciplinary team to manage programs, housing units, and privileges. After the inmate is assigned to a housing unit, he or she will meet with unit staff to update the Case Plan which identifies specific goals the inmate will work on during incarceration. An inmate may progress into preferred housing areas providing he or she has earned the right by completing those programs assigned to him or her and by maintaining a high level of behavioral standards and productive employment. Unit staff consists of a Unit Manager, a Case Manager, Caseworkers, and Correctional Officers.


The Administrative Services staff is responsible for management of inmate and administrative records, sentence computations, the inmate information system, compilation of statistical data, processing inmate and business mail, and office support for a majority of the departments.


The Treatment Department is responsible for development of personal growth and rehabilitation programs for inmates, psychological and psychiatric services, and counseling services.

The NDSP is a Licensed Addiction Treatment Center. Licensed Addiction Counselors, Licensed Social Workers and paraprofessionals assist inmates in overcoming addiction and personal problems. Family is invited to attend family days during the treatment in order assist the offender with building appropriate support for recovery.

A Sex Offender Treatment Program is available to assist offenders to identify inappropriate behavior and provide the personal tools to arrest those behaviors. At times it is advantageous to engage family members in the offenderís treatment process. To meet that need a family day program was developed so that family members can become apart of the recovery.

Mental Health programs area also available to assist offenders with mental health concerns through counseling, monitoring of behaviors and psychological and psychiatric services. For offenders that act out with violence the Intensive Anger Management program is available to assist the offender in reducing destructive behaviors.

Inmate crisis intervention teams are trained by staff to counsel with inmates who are undergoing acute stress.

A full description of the treatment programs offered by the Division of Adult Services can be found here.


Religious programming, spiritual guidance, and pastoral counseling is available from full-time and part-time chaplains who are both denominational and ecumenical. Numerous Bible study groups and church services are conducted each week. Every effort is made to meet the religious and spiritual needs of inmates.


The Division of Adult Services has a variety of educational programs available at NDSP, JRCC, and MRCC. Courses in General Educational Development, computer skills, job seeking skills, and resume writing are offered to inmates seeking educational opportunities. A number of educational programs are available to assist the inmate with personal and career development. College correspondence or independent study programs are available from several North Dakota institutions. Any fees for the correspondence courses are the responsibility of the individual. The Re-Entry Skills Training Program is designed to allow students an opportunity to study careers, brush up on basic skills, and generally prepare them for entering the work place.

Vocational Training Programs offered at the MRCC include automotive technology and computer skills. NDSP offers training programs in computer skills.


The DOCR Medical Department, a division of the DOCR Central Office, provides primary care (Physician and Physician Assistant) services, nursing services, pharmacy services, dental services, psychiatric care, physical therapy, infectious disease clinic, orthopedic clinic, optometry clinic and dietitian services on site. Hospital, ambulance and emergency care services are contracted. Auxiliary services include accounts payable and medical records. The Medical Department has a co-pay charge for offender initiated visits. The Medical department day to day operation is managed by a Director of Nursing.


All inmates are sentenced to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and are expected to work during their incarceration. We believe in the rehabilitative benefits of holding a job and instilling the work ethic. We also believe in rewarding diligent work habits, good discipline records, and a demonstrated effort toward self-improvement with more responsible work positions. Inmates have the opportunity to learn job skills and good work habits and attitudes that can be applied to jobs after release.

Job assignments include janitorial, grounds maintenance, food services, laundry, property, and Rough Rider Industries. The Job Placement Committee coordinates the assignment of inmates to various jobs with the individual work supervisors. Inmates are expected to work 8 hours a day and are paid a daily wage for every day they work.


Rough Rider Industries (RRI) is the industrial work program for the Division of Adult Services. The purpose of this program is to give inmates the opportunity to be productive with their time through meaningful work experience. Inmates who make an honest effort to address their treatment and education needs and fill their remaining time with meaningful work have been far more successful in staying out of prison once they are released. It is for this reason that compliance with treatment and education as well as exhibiting proper behavior are requirements to work at Rough Rider Industries. At NDSP, RRI has a furniture and upholstery factory, a sign shop, a license plate shop, and a metal factory. At the JRCC, RRI offers a cut and sew industry.

Offender Re-Entry and the Transition from Prison to Community Initiative

The Transition from Prison to Community (TPC) Initiative is the state-wide initiative to transition inmates back to the community from incarceration at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) in a safe, effective manner. In 2004, the National Institution of Corrections selected North Dakota as one of eight states to receive a technical assistance grant for participation in the initiative.

TPC has an oversight committee, the Transition Leadership Team. Membership consists of state, local, and private department leaders of stakeholder agencies who have an interest in public safety. This team reviews TPC actions on a state-wide level. They have chartered the Transition Steering Committee to work on issues that impede successful inmate transition.

TPC consists of three tenants:

Transition from Prison to Community Model

North Dakota utilizes a "Recidivism Reduction" philosophy in managing the offender population. This means our practices are based on evidence that is consistent with recidivism reduction. Reducing recidivism (offenders returning to incarceration within 3 years of release due to a new crime), leads to reducing the commission of new crimes LESS CRIME = FEWER VICTMS = SAFER COMMUNITIES.

Since the goal is recidivism reduction, we must first assess the criminogenic risk and needs of offenders, and then apply evidence-based programming to reduce that risk. "Criminogenic risks" are characteristics producing or tending to produce crime or criminal activity. The criminogenic risk assessment the NDDOCR utilizes is the Level of Services Inventory-Revised (LSI-R). The LSI-R consists of ten criminogenic risk domains that are both static (do not change) and dynamic (may change over time):

Utilizing the information from the LSI-R, case plans are developed for every inmate, and higher-risk offenders on parole and probation to target the greatest criminogenic risk areas in an effort to reduce that risk. The DOCR offers programs in its facilities and referrals to stakeholder agencies in the community (such as drug and alcohol treatment, education and vocational training, anger management, family counseling, sex offender treatment, etc ) that target criminogenic risk. If the offender successfully completes the programming, the criminogenic risk is reduced, therefore reducing the person's likelihood of returning to prison.

The Transition from Prison to Community Initiative is committed to identifying barriers to successful inmate transition and enhancing evidence-based services for all offenders supervised by or sentenced to the custody of the DOCR. The overarching goal is to improve public safety and reduce crime while efficiently utilizing taxpayer resources to make safer communities in North Dakota!

» Security Department
» Unit Management
» Administrative Services
» Treatment Department
» Religious programs
» Educational Development
» Medical Services
» Work Opportunities
» Rough Rider Industries
» Transition from Prison to Community
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