North Dakota State Penitentiary

North Dakota State Penitentiary is a maximum-security prison for male inmates that is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Built in 1883, this facility is the oldest prison in the state, and it can house approximately 1,550 inmates. This facility is operated by the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

North Dakota State Penitentiary consists of seven units: the North, South, East, West, Segregation, Overflow, and Treatment. The housing units are specialized so they can attend to the specific needs of the inmate. For example, the North Unit is for receiving and orientation where inmates go through intake and are processed into the NDDCR system.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Due to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus, all visitation is currently suspended. However, North Dakota is starting to phase in visits at their facilities, so please call directly to get more detailed info.

  • Monday through Friday, the doors close at 7:30 pm
  • On weekends and holidays, the doors open at 8:00 am and close at 2:30 pm
  • There is no admittance on weekends and holidays between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm
  • BIU secured visiting is one hour per day during regular visiting hours




6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Adult Only)



6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.



8:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Adult Only)



8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Visitors who arrive to visit with less than 30 minutes left in the session will not be checked in.

Visiting Applications

All visitors must complete a visiting application and be pre-approved and placed on the inmate’s visiting list prior to visitation.

Visitor application forms are supplied to inmates during orientation and are also available in the housing units. The form is to be completed, in full, and returned to the facility so it can be approved before you are placed on the visiting list and allowed to visit. 

It is the inmate’s responsibility to make sure visitors receive and return the forms. Incomplete forms are not accepted. Everyone will be required to complete the form except minors under the age of 16. Minor children must be listed on the applications of the parent or guardian who will accompany them. 

It can take seven to 14 days to process the applications. Once applications are processed, it is the resident's responsibility to notify their visitors of the status of the applications. Due to security concerns, application approvals and denials will not be shared over the phone.

You can submit your visitation application one of three ways; by dropping the application off at the front desk, mailing it in, or faxing it.

You can mail it to:

Inmate Name, DOC Number
North Dakota State Penitentiary
PO Box 5521
Bismarck, ND 58506-5521


Fax the application to 701-328-6640

Visiting Regulations

All visitors must have their photo ID on them when entering the facility. Visitor's will be permitted to bring in up to $10, in one dollar bills and quarters only, to use the vending machines located in the visiting room. All money must be in a clear plastic bag for processing. Visitors are responsible for providing their own plastic bag.

Children under six months will be allowed a baby blanket and a pacifier. No additional items will be allowed in.

You may have pictures taken with the resident in the visitation room. Vouchers are available in the visiting room, with one picture costing $2.00 and receiving 3 copies. The cost of pictures will be charged to the resident’s account.

One restroom break is allowed. Visitors must inform the visiting room officer before they exit the visiting room. All visitors are to be reprocessed before returning to the visiting room. Visitors leaving the facility are not permitted to return until a full hour has passed.

Dress Code

The visiting room is a family experience, so there are rules governing the type and amount of physical contact allowed during the visit. 

All visitors must be fully dressed in appropriate, conventional clothing which is not unduly provocative or revealing and does not resemble resident attire. For the intent of this policy, resident attire is any combination of plane white or grey t-shirt, collared khaki shirt, blue jeans, or khaki pants.

Visitor clothing standards include:

  • No obscene language, gang references, drug and alcohol references, or other objectionable messages on clothing.
  • Visitors are not to wear any garment which unduly exposes the chest, shoulders, back, stomach, midriff, underarm, sweatpants or pajamas. Necklines must be within two inches of the notch of the neck.
  • Clothing designed or intended to be tightly worn to excessively accent the body, e.g. spandex, tights, yoga pants, tank tops, etc. is not allowed.
  • Shorts shall not be worn if more than two inches above the kneecap when standing. Dresses and skirts shall not be less than mid-calf in length. Slit dresses/skirts shall be allowed only if the slit is not more than two inches above the kneecap while standing.
  • Clothing made of sheer, transparent, net/mesh materials, with metallic ornamentation or any decoration not directly related to the functionality of the clothing is not allowed.
  • Pants are not to have holes in them.
  • Appropriate undergarments are required but should not be visible.
  • Close-toed shoes are required.
  • Visitors are not to wear hats, gloves, scarves, or outer garments, such as topcoats, raincoats, jackets, and similar inclement weather attire in the visiting area.
  • No jewelry – including no watch – is allowed with the exception of one ring and a pair of studded earrings.

Video Visitation

Video visitation, both on-site and remote, is now available to NDSP inmates and their approved visitors. After someone has been placed on a resident’s approved visitation list, they can go to and create an account.

The visitor will be able to schedule on-site visits, which are held in the front lobby of NDSP, and are free of charge. The visitor can also schedule remote visits that are subject to a fee, which will be noted when scheduling. To conduct a remote visit, you will need internet access from a mobile smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam.

Video visitation can be scheduled between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm and must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. To schedule the visit, you must go to

You must be on a resident’s approved visitation list before signing up for video visitation and all visitors must adhere to regular visitation rules.

Physical Address

North Dakota State Penitentiary
3100 Railroad Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58506-5521

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate Name, DOC Number
North Dakota State Penitentiary
PO Box 5521
Bismarck, ND 58506-5521

JPay provides the online option for family and friends to instantly purchase stamps and send electronic mail to a resident at North Dakota State Penitentiary. Click here for so you can send a letter right now. Your email will be printed in the mail room and distributed along with the day’s regular mail.

How to Call an Inmate

Inmates at North Dakota State Penitentiary do have access to phones, but they can’t receive incoming calls. For complete details on how to call an inmate in North Dakota, please click here.

How to Send Money

You can send money to your inmate at North Dakota State Penitentiary through JPay or MoneyGram.

You can send money with your credit or debit card online by using or the JPay mobile app from the Apple App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play (for Android phones).

You can also send money by phone using your credit or debit card. Call (800) 574-5729 to speak with a live JPay call center agent 24/7.

Send cash at any MoneyGram location by using the receive code 1304.

Money Orders

When sending money orders to Jpay, please use the Money Order Deposit Form (Spanish). All of the boxes need to be filled out completely and correctly. If not, the money order will be returned to you.  

Send money orders payable to Jpay — with a deposit form — to the following address:

PO Box 822700
Pembroke Pines, FL 33082

Programs For Inmates

Inmates at North Dakota State Penitentiary can take educational classes and participate in vocational training. They can also receive alcohol and substance abuse treatment, participate in individual and group therapy, and take anger management and behavior courses to help with rehabilitation.

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Careers at North Dakota State Penitentiary

If you are interested in a career with the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation — and would like to apply for a job at the North Dakota State Penitentiary — you can find out more information about available jobs by clicking here.