Columbia Correctional Institution

The Columbia Correctional Institution is a maximum-security prison for male inmates that is located in Portage, Wisconsin. This facility is operated by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and can house a maximum of 650 inmates.

Columbia CI opened in 1986 and sits on 110 acres. It features 10 maximum-security living units, each with 50 cells. There is also a 150-bed minimum-security unit within the perimeter. 

In addition to the housing units, Columbia CI includes a large visiting room, chapel, meeting rooms, health services area, staff offices, an intake and reception area, canteen, laundry, a main kitchen, library, recreation field, gymnasium, an industry building, school, and vocational education workshops.

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Visiting Hours and Rules

The general visiting hours at Columbia Correctional Institution are as follows:

  • Monday, Tuesday, & Friday 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm (all visitors must be processed by 8:00 pm). Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (all visitors must be processed by 2:30 pm).

Monday through Friday visits are limited to four hours. Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays all visits limited to two hours.  

An inmate is allowed a maximum of three (3) visits per week Monday through Sunday. A visitor may visit only once each day.  

On Saturday & Sunday an inmate may have two visits per day with separate visitors.  Special or extended visits must be approved in advance by a social worker.

Restrictive Housing Inmates: 

RH1 & HU7: Mon, Tues, Fri 11:30am-1:30pm Sat-Sun 8:00am-11:00am; Maximum two visitors: Step 1:One per week. 

RH2 & HU7: Mon, Tues, Fri 2:00pm-5:00pm Sat-Sun 8:00am-11:00am Step 2: One per week-up to two hours Step 3: One per week-up to two hours 

RH1 & RH7 Step 1 visits in RH1; Administrative Confinement Visits in RH1 Four per month up to two hours each. 

RH2 & HU7 Step 2 and 3 no-contact visits in Visiting Room 

General Visiting Rules

Entry Requirements:  

  • Must be on an inmate’s visiting list; have photo ID (if over 16) and pass metal detector (denied after 3 attempts).  
  • Maximum of five people per visit; children under six years are not counted.  
  • No provocative clothing such as short skirts or shorts, low tops, spandex-like or tight clothing.  
  • Coinage, comb, and locker key are the only items allowed to be brought in. 
  • No gum or candy. No exceptions!  

Infant accessories allowed to be brought in: plastic infant seat, two pre-mixed formulas in plastic bottles only; see through pacifier, four diapers, baby wipes in a clear package; one baby blanket.  

Emergency visitor medication must be approved by the Lobby Sergeant. Seating and table assignments can only be completed by the Lobby Sergeant.

The Visiting Room maintains a Family Oriented Environment. Passing or receiving illegal items, tobacco products or drugs on a visit will result in referral to local law enforcement, disciplinary action and loss of visiting privileges for both the visitor and the inmate.  

An embrace and kiss is allowed at the beginning and end of the visit. Inappropriate touching and behavior is not tolerated. Hand holding is allowed but hands must be visible to staff at all times. No hands or arms behind the chairs. 

Photos must be requested in the first 15 minutes of the visit. No combing or braiding of anyone’s hair. Shoes are to remain on at all times. Talking from table-to-table is NOT allowed. Furniture may not be moved or repositioned.  

Visitors are not allowed to leave the visiting area once a visit has started until they are ready to leave.

Video Visits

Inmates at Columbia Correctional Institution are eligible for one free 40-minute visit every week. All visitors must have previously completed a Visitor Questionnaire and be on their inmate's approved visiting list. 

Prior to the video visiting starting, the visitor/s will be required to show an approved form of identification. Children or minors will be allowed to visit as long as they are already on the approved visiting list. 

Visits are scheduled on a first come, first serve basis as space is limited. Visits can be scheduled by emailing the addresses [email protected]

Email should include: 

  • Inmate Name and DOC #  
  • Names of all visitors  
  • 1st and 2nd choice of date and time of visit 

Incomplete emails will be denied. Visits will be scheduled every hour, and will be a maximum of 40 minutes in length. This is to allow proper cleaning between visits, and to ensure connectivity.

Video visiting hours are as follows:  

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 3:00pm-8:00pm (scheduled on the hour; last visit will be scheduled for 7:00pm)  

Saturday, Sunday, Holidays 8:30am-3:30pm (scheduled on the half hour; last visit will be scheduled for 2:30pm)

Visitors will receive an email confirmation indicating date / time and a link how to connect to the visit. Visits are conducted using ZOOM. It is suggested that visitors download the ZOOM app on their computer, laptop, cell phone, or tablet prior to the visit to ensure accessibility. 

Physical Address

Columbia Correctional Institution
2925 Columbia Drive
Portage, WI 53901

Driving Directions:

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Inmate name and DOC number
Columbia Correctional Institution
PO Box 900
Portage WI 53901

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has a Personal Care Package Program that allows family and friends to purchase approved personal care items for their loved ones at Columbia Correctional Institution on a quarterly basis directly from Union Supply Group (USG). Orders can be placed online at or by phone, fax, or mail.


Electronic messages can be sent to and from Columbia CI inmates through the CorrLinks system. Inmates must initiate the contact by adding a friend or family member to their contact list. An auto-generated request that includes the inmate name and DOC number is then sent by CorrLinks to the friend/family member’s email address.

To accept the request, simply click the link in the email to be taken to the CorrLinks website where you can create an account at no cost. 

How to Call an Inmate

You can't call an inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution, but they do have access to phones. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Wisconsin, please click here.

How to Send Money

Inmate funds at Columbia Correctional Institution are received through Access Corrections Secure Deposit and their affiliate walk-in provider CashPayToday.

US Postal Service (no service fees):

  • Print and complete a Wisconsin DOC Money Order/Check Deposit Slip (bilingüe). Forms are also available at the facilities.
  • The inmate's DOC number must be written on the check/money order and deposit slip.
  • All writing must be legible and in blue or black ink. 
  • Do not include any additional items such as photos or letters, as they will be discarded. 
  • Make cashier's checks, personal checks, and money orders payable to ACCESS SECURE DEPOSITS.
  • Mail to: Secure Deposits – Wisconsin DOC, P.O. Box 12486, St Louis, MO 63132.

Walk-in (service fees apply):

  • Visit or call (844) 340-2274 to enroll.
  • Walk-in sites accept cash only.
  • Visit CashPayToday to locate a Dollar General, Family Dollar, Speedway or other location near you that accepts walk-in payments, or view this list of WI locations.

Internet or Phone (service fees apply):

  • Visit or call (866) 345-1884 (bilingüe; agents available 24/7)
  • Visa and MasterCard are accepted

Programs For Inmates

Adult Basic Education, GED, Anger Management, Substance Use Disorder Treatment, Pre-Release Services, Dogs on Call, Thinking For A Change. Vocational classes include Building Services, Custodial Services, and Printing.

Pictures of Columbia Correctional Institution

Careers at Columbia Correctional Institution

If you are interested in a career with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and would like more information about job openings at the Columbia Correctional Institution, click here.