Diagnostic and Evaluation Center

Diagnostic and Evaluation Center (DEC) is a maximum-security prison located in Lincoln, Nebraska that is the reception center for male inmates who are entering the custody of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. 

When an inmate is first sentenced, they are sent to the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center for evaluation, assessment, classification, and assignment to a permanent facility.

In addition to new DOC inmates, this facility also houses 90-day evaluators who are sentenced by the court for assessment, as well as interstate transfers, returned parolees, and escapees. The average population at this facility is 470 inmates.

The Diagnostic and Evaluation Center was originally opened as a 176-bed prison, but overcrowding has forced them to add more beds and house two inmates inside a single cell. 

The single structure, two-story institution consists of nine inmate housing units and a skilled nursing facility, which includes 12 licensed skilled nursing beds and a fully-staffed initial admission clinic. 

Administrative offices and the skilled nursing facility are located on the upper level of the institution. All other inmate housing, as well as programming areas, including a gymnasium and custody and case management offices, are located on the lower level.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Visiting hours at Diagnostic and Evaluation Center are as follows: 

8:00am - 10:45am                                   Housing Units 2/4/8
5:00pm - 7:30pm                                     Housing Units 3/7/9

8:00am - 10:45am                                   Housing Units 3/7/9
5:00pm - 7:30pm                                     Housing Units 1/5/6

8:00am - 10:45am                                   Housing Units 1/5/6
5:00pm - 7:30pm                                     Housing Units 2/4/8

5:00pm - 7:30pm                                     Housing Units 3/7/9

8:00am - 10:45am                                   Housing Units 2/4/8
12:30pm - 3:30pm                                   Housing Units 1/5/6

As of February 17, 2020, the entrance to the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center will be closed. All visitors must enter through the Lincoln Correctional Center. Inmates at the DEC will have their visits at the Lincoln Correctional Center visiting room.

Dress Code

Casual attire is appropriate, and clothing should not be distracting or offensive to inmates or to other visitors and must be in good repair. Clothing that is tight fitting (clothing will be considered tight fitting if it reveals the outline of genitalia or the areola), revealing, or made of see-through fabric is not allowed 

Visitors must wear undergarments, but they can’t wear multiple layers of undergarments. Females must wear one bra and one pair of underwear (10 years of age or under are not required to wear a bra). Males must wear one pair of underwear/undershorts. 

Visitors are not allowed to wear a combination of both khaki colored pants and a shirt at the same time when they visit. A visitor may wear khaki pants or a khaki shirt but never at the same time when visiting. 

Shorts or skirts must be below the knee when standing/sitting. Shirts and dresses must cover the shoulders. Clothing with pictures, symbols, or language that may be considered profane or offensive by current public standards is not allowed. Tops of clothing shall be no lower than the collarbone in the front and back.

Children 10 years or younger may be allowed to visit if wearing shorts, skirts, or rompers. 

Clothes will be expected to be in good repair with no rips, tears, or pockets that are torn to allow access beneath the garment. 

Hats, headbands, hooded clothing, or outerwear are not allowed. Clergy are permitted to wear religious headwear. 

Shoes are required to be worn at all times, and open toe shoes are allowed. A lightweight outer jacket/sweater without any pockets may be worn in the visiting area. 

Watches, exercise trackers, and similar devices are not permitted. 

Visitor Items

Visitors are permitted the following items in the visiting room/area: 

  • Heart and asthma medication in the original container. Other medication may not be taken into the visiting area without approval. 
  • Parents with infants may bring in two, factory sealed, single-serving, ready-to-feed formula or two clear bottles (no glass), four disposable diapers, eight wet wipes inside a clear bag, one receiving blanket, and one plastic teething instrument.
  • Where paper currency is not authorized, each visitor (adults and minors) may bring up to $20.00 in change (example – one visitor with a child would be allowed to bring up to $40.00 in change) for use in the vending machines where vending machines are available. 
  • No vending/canteen items may be taken back to the housing unit by the inmate.

All other personal property must be secured in your vehicle or in lockers provided by the facility.

Physical Address

Diagnostic And Evaluation Center
3220 West Van Dorn Street
Lincoln, NE 68522-9284

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/pBriKBrX6aYGfrDo9

General Phone Number

​(402) 479-6343

Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, DOC Number, and Housing Unit
Diagnostic And Evaluation Center
PO Box 22800
Lincoln, NE 68542-2800

How to Call an Inmate

You can’t call an inmate at the Diagnostic And Evaluation Center, but they do have access to phones during daytime hours and can make outgoing calls, which are typically made by calling collect or through a prepaid account. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Nebraska, please click here.

How to Send Money

You can send money to an inmate at Diagnostic and Evaluation Center through JPay. You can use their website, the JPay mobile app, go in-person to a MoneyGram agent location, or call 1-800-574-5729.

You must know the inmate’s full name and their DOC number to send money through JPay.

Programs For Inmates

Due to the short length of stay at the institution, there are no industry programs and limited education programs. Each newly admitted inmate, following review of the admission order to ensure legal commitment, begins participation in an intensive medical, psychological, and social assessment process. 

This process culminates in the finalization of an individual classification study and specific programming recommendations to the Classification Officer relative to custody status and institutional placement. 

Non-Clinical Programs

  • Emotional Hygiene: Explore the root of emotions, accountability, responsibility, and management of these areas.

Pro-Social Activities

  • Religious Classes and activities: Variety of classes, workshops, and religious services designed to help inmates with support and spiritual development.
  • Sports/Recreation Activities: A variety of activities that encourage health pastimes are offered at all facilities. Please check with recreational specialists for more information.

Reentry Services

  • Assistance for Social Security Application: Social workers provide assistance in obtaining and completing Social Security applications to individuals who qualify and are 90 days from discharge, post-release supervision or parole.
  • Discharge Planning: Reentry specialists work with individuals to ensure a reentry plan is completed. The plan allows for a smooth transition to the community and focuses on housing, transportation, employment, education, and medical/mental health services as needed.
  • Reentry planning: Clients develop comprehensive reentry plans that include housing/transitional living, employment/education, transportation, ID credentials, medical/mental, and behavioral health treatment.

Social Work Services

  • Specialized Housing Services: Social workers provide assistance to individuals with high medical/mental health needs to obtain transitional living, assisted living, or skilled nursing care, as needed.
  • Specialized Population Served: offers services for inmates with mental illness or serious chronic medical conditions that are high risk and multi-needs.

Vocational/Life Skills Programs

  • Health Course: This program, delivered by a wellness expert, provides workshops on preventative health education and nutrition, such as Men's Birth Control; Date Abuse; Bullying; Gender Boxes; Hygiene.
  • ReConnect - Final Number: Helps participants learn to make better choices and examine thinking patterns, preparing them to take advantage of opportunities in prison that will help them succeed.

Pictures of Diagnostic and Evaluation Center

Careers at Diagnostic and Evaluation Center

If you are interested in a career with the Nebraska Department of Corrections at the Diagnostic And Evaluation Center, you can find out more information by clicking here.