Visiting Information


Philosophy

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) understands the importance for inmates to maintain contact with family and friends.  Research shows maintaining strong family ties can have a positive impact on an offender's success in completing treatment and other programs during incarceration, as well as their chances for success after they are released. 

The Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) encourages visiting opportunities between inmates and approved visitors. In order to best support their loved one, inmate friends and family should familiarize themselves with DAI visitation rules and procedures.  The following guidelines help to ensure a safe and secure visiting environment while promoting a family atmosphere.

Wisconsin Statutes s. 302.095(2) - Delivering Articles to Inmate prohibits delivery of any article to an inmate of a state correctional facility, depositing or concealing an article within the facility or within its boundaries, or receiving an article to convey out of the institution that is contrary to the rules and regulations and without the knowledge or permission of the warden or superintendent.  Violation of this law is a Class I felony, the punishment for which is imprisonment up to 3.5 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

The DOC is committed to maintaining drug-free facilities and will investigate and assist in the prosecution of any individual attempting to introduce drugs or other prohibited items into a correctional facility.

All persons who wish to visit an inmate must be listed on the inmate's approved visitors list, per Administrative Code Ch. 309.08.  A completed DOC-21AA Visitor Questionnaire must be submitted for all prospective visitors, including minor children.  It is the inmate's responsibility to obtain and mail the DOC-21AA to a prospective visitor.  Proposed visitors must return the completed form to the institution for processing.  If approved, inmates will be notified that a visitor has been added to their visiting list.  Applicants may be denied approval for visitation on a number of grounds, which are specified in state administrative code.  Applicants who are denied approval will receive a written notice.

Persons under the age of 18 must obtain the consent of a non-incarcerated parent or legal guardian prior to visiting, which must be documented on the DOC-21AA.  All visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied during visitation by an adult that is on the inmate's approved visitors list unless the minor visitor is the legal spouse of the inmate.

A close family member, for visiting purposes, is defined as an inmate’s natural, adoptive, step, or foster parent; spouse; child; grandparent; grandchild; or sibling. 

Visitation During Intake/Assessment and Evaluation (A&E) 
Inmates entering DOC custody are held for a period of time in Intake/A&E units at Dodge Correctional Institution (DCI), Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF), or Taycheedah Correctional Institution (TCI).  

Inmates in A&E status are permitted up to four adult visitors who are close family members.  An inmate’s minor children do not count against the four visitor limit.  Inmates in A&E status who have sexually-related offenses may be restricted from having visitors who are under the age of 18.  

Non-A&E Inmates
Inmates who have transferred out of A&E status at DCI, MSDF or TCI, or who have been moved to another facility, are allowed up to 12 adults on their visitors list.  Minor children who have been approved for visitation shall not be counted against the 12 visitor limit until their 18th birthday. Changes to an inmate's visiting list must be initiated by the inmate.

An inmate may have more than 12 visitors on their visiting list with the approval of the institution superintendent or warden if all visitors on the list are close family members.  
Note: OSCI Visiting Hours on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th are from 8 am - 4pm.

In addition to department-wide policies and procedures, adult facilities have site-specific visiting information available on their webpages, including visiting hours, the number of visits allowed per week, the number of visitors allowed per visit, and other rules and procedures.  New visitors may also wish to contact the respective facility with questions prior to visitation. 

Vehicles, Parking and Facility Grounds
All verbal and non-verbal communication with inmates from outside the approved visiting area is prohibited. This includes speaking, waving, and the sounding of horns or blinking of headlights.

Loitering in parking lots is prohibited.  Any person accompanying a visitor who is not visiting an inmate must leave facility property while waiting for the visitor(s); waiting in the parking lot or a vehicle is prohibited.  Animals may not be left unattended in vehicles.

Vehicles must be secured (windows rolled up, doors locked).  If your vehicle is found unsecured, your visit may be terminated.  Disabled or stalled vehicles must be immediately reported to the lobby sergeant. Any vehicle left on state property for more than 24 hours may be ticketed or towed at the owner’s expense.

Some facilities may require the use of street parking or a parking ramp.  Visitors are encouraged to read signage on roadways, ramps, and meters to ensure parking restrictions are followed. 

Handicap parking spaces are provided for visitors with handicapped license plates or displaying state-authorized handicap parking placards.

Arrival & Entrance
Visitors should arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to the start of visiting hours.  Upon arrival at the lobby, visitors may be required to complete a DOC-176 Request to Visit Offender.  A visitor's hand may be stamped by security staff and checked when entering and leaving secure areas.

Visitors age 16 or older must provide photo identification.  Acceptable forms of photo identification are:

  • Valid state driver's license
  • Valid passport or visa
  • Valid Department of Transportation (DMV) photo I.D.
  • Valid military identification card
  • Valid tribal photo I.D.

Amish visitors who do not possess photo identification as a requirement of their religion must provide the facility with a signed and notarized affidavit from their bishop. The affidavit must include the physical description of each proposed visitor.

Only visitors on an inmate's approved visiting list will be permitted to visit.  Anyone denied visitation must leave facility property immediately; waiting in vehicles or parking lots is not allowed.

Metal Detectors
Visitors will be denied entry to the visiting room if they are unable to successfully clear a metal detector within three attempts.  In order to expedite the entrance process, visitors should avoid wearing metal jewelry or clothing with metal, such as buckles, snaps, bib overalls, wire undergarments, etc. 

Special Accommodations
Accommodations for visitors who are unable to successfully walk through and clear the metal detector due to a medical appliance/assistive device should be requested using a DOC-2424 Visitor Requesting Accommodations form. This form is available for download in English and Spanish and can also be requested by checking a box on the DOC-21AA (visiting application). The visitor's physician must complete, sign, and return the form via fax or mail to the institution security director or center superintendent for approval prior to the visitor being allowed entrance.

Visitors who utilize a wheelchair must use an institution-approved wheelchair.  This may be a personal wheelchair or one provided by the institution, as determined by the institution.  Personal wheelchairs are subject to search.

Visiting Areas
Each institution has a designated visiting area.  Some correctional facilities have both inside and outside visiting areas, which may be used during appropriate times of the year.  Visiting area rules are specified in each facility's visiting information guide.

No-Contact Visits
Inmates in restrictive housing or under no-contact visiting restrictions may have additional restrictions imposed, such as the required use of audio visual equipment or limits placed upon visiting hours, length of visits, or the number of visitors per visit. Visitors may call the facility to determine if an inmate has any visiting restrictions.

Behavior While Visiting
Visitors must conduct themselves in an appropriate and courteous manner and must follow all visiting rules at all times.  It is the inmate's responsibility to ensure their visitors are aware of all visiting rules and regulations.

Visitors appearing to be under the influence of intoxicants will not be allowed entrance.

Parents are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children at all times.  Any child leaving the visiting area must be accompanied by an adult.

Inmates may embrace and kiss visitors at the beginning and end of each visit.  Excessive displays of affection are not permitted.  Inmates may hold their own children who are age 5 or under.  An inmate's hands must remain visible at all times.

Inappropriate conduct by visitors or inmates, including children, may result in termination of the visit and potential suspension of visiting privileges. 

Prohibited Items
The following items are prohibited at all DAI facilities. This is not a complete list of prohibited items; visitors should review site-specific visiting information available on the facility webpage or contact the facility directly for further information:

  • Weapons.
  • Cell phones, cameras, pagers, recording equipment, and all other electronic devices.
  • Illegal drugs.
  • Alcohol.
  • Tobacco and related products.
  • Matches and lighters.
  • Purses.
  • Strollers.
  • Money or other items intended to be given to an inmate.
  • Reading materials or other papers, without prior approval.
  • Pets or other animals, except for those required as service animals for persons with disabilities.
  • Food/beverages (exceptions exist at some centers).  Vending machines may be available inside the visiting room.

Allowed Items
The following items may be brought into facilities, should they pass inspection. This is not a complete list of allowed items; visitors should review site-specific visiting information available on the facility webpage or contact the facility directly for further information:

  • Money, not to exceed $20.00 per visitor.
  • Comb, pick or brush, limited to one per visitor.
  • Up to two (2) baby blankets per child.
  • Up to four (4) diapers per child. Diaper bags are not allowed.
  • Up to two (2) plastic baby bottles per child.
  • One (1) hand-held baby seat per child.
  • Diaper wipes, which must be kept in a clear plastic bag.
  • One (1) pacifier per child.
  • One (1) coat and one (1) pair of gloves per visitor.
  • Headwear (provided it does not conceal identity).
  • One (1) facility locker key.
  • Medically necessary medications, which may include inhalers, nitroglycerin, epipens, etc.

Visitor Clothing
Visiting areas are intended to be an atmosphere that is appropriate for families and friends of all ages. Visitors who are not dressed appropriately may be denied entrance.  Footwear must be worn at all times. Restrictions apply equally to men, women, and children. The following items are prohibited:

  • Watches.
  • Transparent/translucent clothing.
  • Shorts that do not reach fingertip length when the visitor stands with upright posture, arms straight down, fingers extended.
  • Skirts and dresses that do not reach fingertip length when the visitor stands with upright posture, arms straight down, fingers extended.
  • Tops and dresses that are strapless, tube, or halter style, or that expose the midriff or back.
  • Camisoles and tank tops must be worn under other clothing.
  • Spandex, Lycra, or other stretch fabrics.  Tops, tights or leggings of this material may be worn under attire of appropriate length as identified in this section.
  • Exposed undergarments.
  • Clothing with revealing holes, tears, or slits.
  • Clothing or accessories with obscene or profane writing, images, or pictures.
  • Gang-related clothing, headwear, shoes, logos, or insignias.
  • Any clothing that may have the potential to cause undue attention.