North Idaho Correctional Institution

The North Idaho Correctional Institution (NICI) is a former military radar station north of the small town of Cottonwood. This facility is a program-specific prison with an operating capacity of 414 male inmates. 

NICI primarily houses inmates sentenced under a retained jurisdiction sentence. Retained jurisdiction provides a sentencing alternative for courts to target offenders who might, after a period of programming and evaluation, be viable candidates for probation rather than incarceration.

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North Idaho Correctional Institution

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Visiting Hours and Rules

All visitors must be approved before they can visit an inmate at the North Idaho Correctional Institution. Please read and be familiar with the Visiting Rules for Offenders and Visitors and complete the visiting application process before visiting.

Please be aware that the weather conditions in Northern Idaho can be brutal at times, so please dress warm because there is always the possibility that you will have to wait in your vehicle before being allowed into the visiting area. Because of the extreme weather conditions, the dress code at this facility does allow you to layer your clothing, but you will be subject to a search.

NOTE: Visitors must be on time to enter or they will be turned away.




Visitors Enter

Visit Time

All Offenders    

12:00 - 12:30 p.m.

12:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Check-in will start at 12:00 p.m. and end at 12:30 p.m. Late arrivals will be denied entry that day. Check-out will occur immediately after visiting hours are over. Visitors will be given one opportunity to leave at 2:00 p.m. Those who choose to stay are required to remain in visiting until 3:30 p.m. except for medical emergencies.

Visitors are not allowed in the parking area until 11:30 a.m. (local time) and must stay in their vehicles until check-in begins. Visitors must leave the parking area promptly after checking out.

No unattended pets are allowed in the parking area, and loud music emanating from vehicles is prohibited. Attempting to communicate in any way with an offender from the parking lot is prohibited.

Do not park vehicles in fire lanes. Parking in handicapped zones requires authorized and properly displayed identification tags. Taking photographs or videos of the facility, offenders, or staff is prohibited.

The only items visitors are allowed to bring into the visiting room are: 

  • Photo identification
  • Money for vending machines (No paper money is allowed in visiting rooms. Visitors may bring coins in clear plastic bags or debit or credit cards, if applicable, to make vending machine purchases)
  • Vehicle keys
  • Diaper bag (if small children are visiting. The diaper bag may contain diapers; wipes; a pacifier; two bottles of formula, milk, water, or juice; and a container of baby food or cereal)

No electronic equipment of any kind (including cell phones) is allowed in the visiting area. The use of tobacco products on IDOC property is not allowed, to include parking areas. No tobacco can be brought into any facility. All tobacco products must be stored in a locked vehicle.

Visitors, 16 and older, must have valid and current photo identification (ID) (specifically a driver’s license, state-issued ID, military ID, or valid/current United States passport). Visitors between the age of 16 and 18 years can also use student ID cards issued by their schools. 

No food or drink from the outside is allowed to be brought into the facility. Visitors may purchase food and drink items in the vending machines for consumption by the visitor and inmate. Visitors must take unopened food and drink items with them at the end of visiting. Visitors must provide their own change or vending card.

Inmates may not give or receive any item from a visitor. Visitors may not give or receive any item from an inmate. 

Visitors must wear garments that are conservative and modest. Proper underclothing must be worn. No bare feet.  Prohibited clothing includes: sleeveless garments, bare midriffs, scrubs, shorts, cutoffs, miniskirts, hats, caps, bandanas, doo-rags, spandex, and low-cut or see-through clothing.

Physical Address

North Idaho Correctional Institution
236 Radar Rd.
Cottonwood, ID 83522

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name and DOC Number
North Idaho Correctional Institution
HC3, Box 147
Cottonwood, ID 83522

All incoming mail must be clearly addressed with the inmate's committed name (no nicknames), IDOC number, institution, and housing assignment. Incoming mail that presents no procedural problems will be processed and delivered within 24 hours of receipt, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. 

Contraband (prohibited mail) is anything that is prohibited by Board, Department, or facility rules, policies, directives, or standard operating procedures. Do not send an inmate contraband.

You can also send an inmate at North Idaho Correctional Institution an email or videogram using JPay.

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an Inmate at the North Idaho Correctional Institution. However, during assigned times, inmates have access to a phone and can make outgoing calls. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Idaho, please click here.

How to Send Money

You can send money to an inmate at North Idaho Correctional Institution through Access Corrections. Visit the Deposit and Payment Services FAQ page or for fees and full details.

Access Corrections will accept deposits for an inmate trust account online, by phone, by mail and through authorized retailers. 

  • Online: (fees apply)
  • Phone:  1-866-345-1884 (fees apply)
  • Walk-in Sites: (call 1-844-340-2274 to enroll and find a location) and (call 1-877-223-2274 to find a location)
  • Mail (free service):                                                

Secure Deposits-Idaho DOC                                              
PO Box 12486                                                                            
St. Louis, MO 63132

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • The Pre-release Program

This program provides inmates with the opportunity to learn the skills of communication, personal goal setting, and attitudes they need to maintain strong family ties, find and keep good jobs, and manage their finances. 

The curriculum consists of three components – the Prerelease Manual addressing areas of life skills, Education/Career Planning aligned with the Department of Labor’s Career Information Services software and leads inmates through career exploration, resume writing, job application and interview skills, and finally, Computer Literacy. 

  • Employability Skills

The top three most important skills identified by employers are: Ability to work in teams, Ability to make decisions/solve problems, and the Ability to communicate inside/outside organization. 

The Employability Skills Framework is broad enough to fit all classrooms. By integrating employability skills into academic and technical skill instruction, all students are receiving instruction in preparation for the job market and release. 

  • Education

Adult Basic Literacy – Attainment of 6th grade level in Reading/Math

Secondary Education – High School Diploma/GED

Vocational Reading/Math – 8th grade level Reading/Math 

Post-Secondary Reading/Math – 12th grade level Reading/Math

Horticulture (certification through LCSC Workforce Training)

CPR/1st Aid (American Red Cross certification)

  • Treatment

Evidence-based treatment is provided to inmates, with the ultimate goal being to reduce recidivism as inmates are released to communities.

All offenders are assessed to determine their medical condition, programmatic needs, education level, and mental health. The information from these assessments is used to format a rehabilitation program to address each offender's identified risk and needs.

Programs and services address the following areas: Cognitive/Behavioral, Mental health, Substance abuse, Education and vocational education, Family reunification, and Aftercare.

Pictures of North Idaho Correctional Institution

Careers at North Idaho Correctional Institution

North Idaho Correctional Institution is run by the Idaho Department of Corrections. If you are interested in a job at the facility, click here.