columbia correctional institution

Columbia Correctional Institution

Columbia Correctional Institution, situated in Portage, Wisconsin, is a prominent maximum security prison known for its dedication to housing and rehabilitating adult male offenders. With a capacity to accommodate 650 inmates, this facility currently houses approximately 825 individuals. The institution comprises ten housing units, each equipped with 50 cells. Additionally, Columbia Correctional Institution includes a section dedicated to 150 minimum-security inmates. While most cells are double bunked, single cells are reserved for the most violent and dangerous offenders. The institution aims to offer a range of amenities and services to support the well-being and rehabilitation of its inmates.

Providing Comprehensive Facilities and Services

At Columbia Correctional Institution, offenders have access to various facilities and services that contribute to their overall well-being and personal growth. The institution features a chapel, gymnasium, and recreational areas, allowing inmates to engage in physical activity and spiritual practices. Moreover, a library is available to promote education and literacy among the incarcerated population. Inmates can also make use of the canteen, where they can purchase essential items. The facility ensures a sizable visitation area, enabling inmates to maintain connections with their loved ones.

To ensure the safety and security of both staff and inmates, Columbia Correctional Institution employs electronic detection equipment, five large armed guard towers, and double razor wire electric fences.

Promoting Inmate Rehabilitation through Vocational Training

During their incarceration at Columbia Correctional Institution, inmates have the opportunity to participate in vocational training programs, specifically in custodial/building maintenance and print works. The institution actively participates in the Badger State Prison Industries program, offering selected inmates on-site employment opportunities in printing and mailroom services. These vocational training programs aim to equip inmates with valuable skills that can facilitate their reintegration into society upon release.

See also  Okeechobee Correctional Institution

Promoting Emotional Well-being and Personal Development

Columbia Correctional Institution recognizes the importance of addressing emotional and psychological aspects of inmate rehabilitation. To that end, the institution offers several programs and resources to promote personal growth and well-being. One notable program is the dog therapy program, in partnership with “Dogs on Call,” which provides inmates in social isolation the opportunity to interact with canines and their handlers for 1.5 hours once a month. This program offers emotional support and aids in fostering a sense of connection and empathy.

Moreover, the institution offers education courses that allow inmates to earn their GED and receive adult basic education. Inmates can also participate in correspondence courses to pursue an advanced degree. To address issues related to anger management and personal mindfulness, Columbia Correctional Institution provides specialized programs such as anger management, mindfulness meditation, and cognitive intervention. These programs are designed to equip inmates with essential coping mechanisms and promote positive behavioral change.

Visiting Columbia Correctional Institution

Visitation at Columbia Correctional Institution is an important aspect of maintaining familial and social ties for inmates. To attend a visitation session, all visitors must have an approved visitor application on file beforehand. The institution offers visitation hours every day, providing eight hours of visitation each day. On weekdays, afternoon and evening visitation slots are available, while weekends offer both morning and afternoon visits. It is advisable to contact the facility to obtain the current visitation schedule and confirm the designated visitation day for a specific inmate.

Contact Information and Mailing Address

For any inquiries or communication, the following contact information can be used:

See also  Putnam Correctional Institution

Physical Address: Columbia Correctional Institution 2925 Columbia Drive Portage, WI 53901

Telephone: (608)-742-9100

Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate Name, ID Number Columbia Correctional Institution 2925 Columbia Drive P.O. Box 900 Portage, WI 53901

Money Order Mailing Address: Columbia Correctional Institution Inmate’s Name, ID Number P.O. Box 999 Portage, WI 53901

Overview of Columbia Correctional Institution

Columbia Correctional Institution is located on a sprawling campus in Portage, Wisconsin. The facility includes multiple housing units, educational and vocational buildings, a medical center, and recreational areas. Security measures at the institution include multiple guard towers, perimeter fencing, and electronic surveillance systems.

The population at Columbia Correctional Institution is diverse, with inmates from all over the state of Wisconsin. The majority of the inmate population is male, but there is also a smaller unit for female inmates. Inmates are assigned to housing units based on a variety of factors, including security level, behavior, and medical needs.

History of Columbia Correctional Institution

Columbia Correctional Institution was founded in the late 19th century and has undergone several expansions and renovations over the years. In the early years, the institution was known for its strict discipline and harsh treatment of prisoners. In recent years, however, there have been several controversies and incidents that have brought attention to the conditions at the institution.

Programs and Services offered

Columbia Correctional Institution offers a variety of programs and services to its inmates, including education and job training, health care and mental health services, and religious and recreational activities. The education program includes adult basic education, GED preparation, and vocational training in fields such as construction, automotive repair, and printing. The health care program includes routine medical care, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment.

See also  Graceville Correctional Facility

Criticisms and Challenges

Despite the efforts to provide services and programs to inmates, Columbia Correctional Institution faces ongoing criticism and challenges. Overcrowding and understaffing are persistent problems that can lead to dangerous conditions for both inmates and staff. Inmate treatment and rights are also a source of concern, with reports of abuse and neglect by staff and other inmates. Gang activity and violence are also ongoing issues at the institution.

Reform and Improvement Efforts

In recent years, there have been several efforts to reform and improve the conditions at Columbia Correctional Institution. Legislative and policy changes have been implemented to address overcrowding and improve inmate treatment. Community organizations and advocacy groups have also been active in calling for improvements at the institution. The administration at Columbia Correctional Institution has plans for future renovations and developments to further improve the facilities and programs offered.


In conclusion, Columbia Correctional Institution has a rich history and provides a range of programs and services to its inmate population. However, the institution also faces ongoing challenges and criticisms, including overcrowding, understaffing, inmate abuse, and gang activity. Despite these challenges, there have been efforts to reform and improve the institution, through policy changes and community involvement.


  1. What is the capacity of Columbia Correctional Institution?
  • Columbia Correctional Institution has a capacity of 1427 inmates.
  1. What kind of programs and services does the institution offer?
  • Columbia Correctional Institution offers education and job training, health care and mental health services, and religious and recreational activities to its inmates.
  1. What are some of the criticisms and challenges facing the institution?
  • The institution faces criticisms and challenges such as overcrowding, understaffing, inmate abuse, and gang activity.
  1. What efforts are being made to reform and improve the institution?
  • Efforts to reform and improve the institution include legislative and policy changes, community involvement, and future renovations and developments.
  1. Where is Columbia Correctional Institution located?
  • Columbia Correctional Institution is located in Portage, Wisconsin.

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