How to Contact Wisconsin Prison Inmates

By Shereen Skola
The Wisconsin Department of Corrections encourages contact between inmates and supportive family and friends.
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The U.S. prison system encourages contact between prisoners and their friends and family as part of the rehabilitation process. In Wisconsin, anyone can contact inmates who are incarcerated within the state. You can find the location and mailing address of any prisoner in Wisconsin by calling the state Department of Corrections or by using the online prison locator. You can visit an inmate in person, but you must be on the approved list of visitors for that prisoner. You also can speak with an inmate on the telephone, but the inmate must initiate the call.

Call the Department of Corrections records office, or use the Offender Locator on the Department's website to find out where the inmate is incarcerated. You'll need the prisoner's housing assignment number, known as a CDC number. If you are unable to locate the prisoner, you can also use the Federal Inmate Locator search tool online in case the inmate has been moved to another state.

Include the inmate's name and CDC number on any correspondence you mail to the prisoner. You'll also need the name and address of the institution where the prisoner is incarcerated.

Visit an inmate in prison during the institution's regularly scheduled visiting hours. The inmate must ask to have your name added to the list of approved visitors, and you must fill out a Visitor Questionnaire before your visit to gain approval. All prospective visitors, including children, must have this authorization. For visitors older than 15, a valid photo ID must be provided, such as a driver's license, passport, tribal license, state identification card or military identification card.

Speak with an inmate by phone when the prisoner initiates the call. Pay phones are available for inmate use but cannot accept incoming calls. Outgoing phone calls will be charged collect to the recipient.

About the Author

Shereen Skola is a freelance writer with a wide range of publication credits. She holds a BS in Journalism from UMass-Amherst. Skola specializes in writing scripts for radio, web, and television, as well as providing voiceover services for dozens of clients nationwide. She draws from a long, 16 year career in radio broadcasting for her marketing and public relations expertise, and is considered an expert in these fields.