About North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is responsible for overseeing the imprisonment of inmates and offering general prison services in North Dakota. It has a Division of Field Services which oversees parolees via a network of 14 field offices around the state. This Department also includes a Division of Juvenile Services, which is responsible for supervising delinquent juveniles. The Department's headquarters are in Bismarck.
Currently, Dave Krabbenhoft serves as the Director of NDOCR.
The mission of the North Dakota Department of Corrections is to transform lives, influence change, and strengthen the community. It does so by supervising adults committed to incarceration, reducing recidivism through education, psychological treatment, and life skills programs to inmates. The Department has four adult facilities across the state that provide imprisonment and rehabilitation services. These are:
- James River Correctional Center in Jamestown.
- Missouri River Correctional Center in Bismarck.
- North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck.
- Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in New England.
Inmate Initial Classification
An inmate's first categorization assignment happens at the near end of orientation completion. It's the responsibility of the Initial Classification Committee to allocate a custody level based on the offender's criminal history. The inmate has the power to appeal the custody allocation within 48 hours following the classification hearing. The Director of Transitional Planning Services is responsible for such appeals.
Moreover, the NDOCR requires aggrieved persons to request the appeal forms from housing unit personnel. However, decisions regarding programming assignment, housing assignment, or parole eligibility are not always challengeable. As such, individuals with issues about their current program or housing assignment must first consult their case manager for further guidance.
Inmates in the North Dakota State Penitentiary or the James River Correctional Center may be of any custody classification. However, the NDSP generally houses maximum-security inmates, while the JRCC houses those with medium or lower security levels. Further, the MRCC houses individuals with a minimum security level.
Request for Minimum Security Housing
Some individuals may be aggrieved by their allocated housing. They may feel to be more qualified for minimum security housing. As such, they can request minimum housing if they have the following qualifications:
- Have a minimum custody classification.
- Must have not more than a term of 42 months remaining.
- They must have no felony detainers.
- The individuals must be compliant with all requirements, including education, treatment, and work.
The process entails approaching the case manager who completes the minimum custody transfer paperwork. This paperwork includes a complete review of the inmate's criminal record and behavior within the institution. The classification director and the unit manager are responsible for the initial review. They may accept or reject the application. Afterward, the Warden of Transitional Facilities receives the approved ones. This individual undertakes the final evaluation and chooses whether to approve or deny the request.
The Division of Juvenile Services (DJS) offers juvenile detention services and facilities. It maintains the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center as well as the maintenance of eight juvenile community offices. The Youth Correctional Center is in between Mandan and unincorporated Morton County. The Youthful Correctional Center has the following housing units:
- Brown Cottage. This unit has 16 beds. It is a female unit responsible for the detention, assessment, and treatment.
- Hickory Cottage. Hickory Cottage is a 35-bed facility that houses male youths who are in the treatment phase. It has a Mental Health Specialist, a medical examination room, and nurse's offices on the lower floor. Additionally, the lower level of the Hickory Cottage has an Intensive Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program.
- Pine Cottage. Pine Cottage is a 25-bed facility that houses male juvenile delinquents. The Cottage staff offers a range of programs, including assessment and special management. Additionally, this cottage is home to male delinquents who have been deemed unamenable. All intake services for male admissions take place in this cottage.
Youth Community Services
The eight regional community offices offer youthful services across the state. There are Professional Juvenile Corrections Specialists who offer correctional counseling and management services. The Juvenile Corrections Specialists are in charge of establishing an in-depth, tailored program of treating and rehabilitating each juvenile.
They use comprehensive assessments of risk and need in developing these plans. Additionally, accomplishing these goals is effective as long as the staff in the Youth Correctional Center Assessment Centers and those in the community-based Juvenile Corrections work together.
Further examinations and assessments are organized per the requirements of the person and the availability of specified assessments.
Inmate Access to Healthcare under the DOCR
Inmates can access health services by submitting a request slip to the Department of Corrections' medical section. The available services include health care, dental, and optometry. Individuals with dental discomfort or pain can access dental services by filling a dental sick call with the dental division office.
Additionally, the medical division offers access to emergency services 24 hours daily throughout the week at every state's facility.
Sick Call and Doctor Call
Inmates can access daily sick call services at both the NDSP and the JRCC. The MRCC has nurse personnel accessible Monday through Friday, except on government holidays.
Sometimes, the results of a nurse's screening may indicate a requirement for a doctor's appointment. The following factors determine whether or not the inmate will get access to such an appointment:
- The type of medical request.
- The severity of the requirement for a doctor's appointment.
- The availability of primary care providers.
Patients may have to pay a $3.00 co-pay for self-initiated healthcare visits. However, further appointments or those initiated by staff are not subject to the co-pay charge. It is important to note that the facility will not deny access to essential healthcare services such as emergencies even if an inmate lacks co-pay funds.
Nonetheless, pre-existing conditions are subject to a co-pay chargeable at least once every sixty days. Orthotics and dentures will be subject to an extra co-pay of up to 15 percent of the total cost. Inmates with dissatisfaction with the $3.00 co-pay may file an appeal with the Warden and Director of the Department of Corrections.
AUTOCAD Program for Inmates
Inmates interested in learning how to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) may enroll in an AUTOCAD 2010 training course. These students must complete 200 hours in the program. The course entails creating basic 2D designs as well as 3D drafting of items that range from the most straightforward task to the most complicated.
The final project requires participants to design their own blueprints and then build their own 3D model project. Further, the students will have to put together a portfolio exhibiting their accomplishments on the program at the end of the program. Afterward, they'll have to showcase these projects to a team of professionals. This program is only accessible at the North Dakota State Penitentiary.
Construction Technology and Building Trades
This is a certified education program that is available at both JRCC and MRCC. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education jointly provide this program. The program also complies with the curriculum of the Building Trades.
Participants receive instructions in tool safety, drawing, building, project planning, and etiquette. Those who successfully complete the program can work in the construction business during and after incarceration. Inmates who use these skills while in prison receive salaries equivalent to the market pay.
The welding program teaches the fundamental skills necessary for entry-level positions and apprenticeship programs. Students gain knowledge of welding theory, symbols, and blueprint reading. Moreover, students also acquire various skills that are beneficial to their future careers in other fields. Such additional skills include material handling, structural fit-up, oxy-acetylene cutting, crane signaling, and carbon arc gouging.
Stick welding (SMAW) and wire feed welding are two of the welding processes available. Successful inmates receive America Welding Society (AWS) certification.
Absence from Work Assignments
Individuals who neglect their work for more than three days are likely to lose their positions. Moreover, the facility will not compensate such an inmate for the days he/she fails to attend work. After three days, the absent individuals who need to report back to work will have to submit a request slip to the Job Placement Committee. The inmate whose jobs have been assigned to someone else will have to wait for another employment opportunity. Furthermore, such persons must have a good explanation for their absenteeism.
The North Dakota State Prisoner Lookup Process
The North Dakota Department of Corrections provides an online search tool to the public to assist in DOC’s inmate search for those in incarceration. This information is available for all offenders under the North Dakota Department of Corrections, including those under Interstate Compact agreements. Individuals can access this DOC inmate search website by clicking here.
The website provides a single DOC offender locator search field where a searcher enters the offender's last name or the starting letters. A list of names matching the details will show up, including their birth dates and DOCR ID number.
These individuals may undergo review for parole per the provisions of NDCOR and general statutes.