Male offenders are admitted to the State Penitentiary in Bismarck. All newly admitted offenders receive a five-week period of orientation where instruction is given by various staff members on the operation of the institution and the programs available. This segregation time from the rest of the population helps to alleviate fears, apprehension, and confusion, which new arrivals may have. Upon completion of orientation, the inmate is seen by the Classification Committee, which assigns a risk category, housing unit, and recommends programming (work, education, treatment). The inmate is then placed in general population at the North Dakota State Penitentiary, the James River Correctional Center, or the Missouri River Correctional Center.
Inmates are not allowed to receive telephone calls, nor does the staff take messages. You may communicate through the US mail. Inmates are allowed to make local or long-distance calls during specific times, depending on the housing unit, to those who have applied and been approved for the inmate's phone list. All charges for these phone calls are at the expense of the person called.
Personal property is not allowed to be mailed in to inmates. Inmates have access to a complete line of commissary items in each of our facilities and are also allowed to order items through various approved catalogs. Items mailed in from any other source will be returned to sender. Books, magazines, newspapers, etc., must be ordered and paid for by the inmate and mailed directly from the publisher.
We encourage correspondence between you and the inmate. Your complete name and address must be written in the return address area. Mail is opened and inspected for contraband. Any cash, checks, or money orders are removed and the inmate receives a receipt for the amount. Checks and money orders should be made out to the inmate's name. Each inmate has an account and any money received is credited daily Monday through Friday. No candy, gum, stamps, small trinkets, or jewelry should be mailed with the correspondence. No personal photographs of unclothed individuals are allowed and will be returned to the sender.
Inmate Name, #
North Dakota State Penitentiary
PO Box 5521
Bismarck, ND 58506-5521
Inmate Name, #
James River Correctional Center
2521 Circle Drive
Jamestown, ND 58401
During the orientation program, the inmate may send out visiting applications to those visitors he/she wishes to be placed on his/her list. Once the visiting applications have been received at the institution and approved by the Visiting Control Officer (usually within two weeks), he/she may receive visits from anyone on the approved visiting list.
The Chief of Security can place restrictions on those visitors granted special permission. All children must be accompanied by their own parents or legal guardian, or the inmate's parents at all times during the visit.
Official photo identification will be required for all persons entering the facility except for those under 16 years of age who are supervised by parent or guardian. Failure to produce ID will be grounds to deny admittance.
All visitors' names are checked with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, North Dakota Field Services Department, and local law enforcement authorities. Anyone with pending charges will not be allowed to visit until the charge is disposed of through the court. Anyone on parole or probation will not be allowed to visit until they have been off parole or probation for a period of one year. An exception may be made for immediate family members to visit in the secured visiting area. Names may be removed or kept off visiting list by security, in order to maintain the orderly running of the institution.
Any individual entering the facilities, or their grounds, may be subject to search at any time for contraband articles. This also applies to their personal property. Contraband is any item not specifically authorized by policy. No property or other items will be allowed past the first gate unless approved by security staff. Visitors are only allowed to take their vehicle keys (not a full ring of keys), identification, and money to spend on food items in the visiting room. Lockers are provided in the lobby for a nominal fee to secure those items not allowed.
If an inmate is found in possession of contraband upon completion of a visit, or if a visitor declines to be searched, the visitor(s) may be banned pending investigation by the institution.
Once you arrive at the facility for a visit, we ask that you complete a visiting card. The card will be processed, and you will be directed to the visiting area. The Visiting Room Officer will direct you to a seating area. Visits less than one hour will be counted as one hour.
Visitors are to be dressed in proper clothing. Proper clothing includes undergarments, shirts with sleeves, blouses, slacks, jeans, and shoes. Halter dresses, halter-tops, and shorts or skirts shorter than two inches above the knees, crop or half shirts and shirts that expose the mid-section are not permitted. The visiting room is a family experience, so there are rules governing the type and amount of physical contact allowed during the visit. Visitors are expected to familiarize themselves with these rules at the first visit, and adhere to them to avoid future problems while in the visiting room.