What can my Son expect the first week or two in Dodgeville Correctional?
What can my Son expect the first week to two weeks in Dodgeville correctional prison in Wisconsin? Also anyone feel free to chime in with there experience as he will be reading them along with me. Thanks all.
First off, depending how long he will be in county prior to going to dodge, it can be a relief. Prison, despite what anyone says , is better than county jail.
So, once in Dodge, first few days will be locked in a cell with 1 or 2 people. Only get out to see medical or psych staff. After that, moved into population, depending on how they classify can either be in a dorm setting, or in another paired cell. You can sign up for library, gym. Go to a mess hall for meals. then back to your dorm or cell. I believe you sign up for use of a phone once a week. This is all during the A&E portion.
Then you will see someone who talks about your sentence track, needs, and you choose 3 prisons. depending on needs. Keep in mind, your choice has very little to do with where you are sent.
I dont think there is any way i can tell you its not an anxious situation. But you will settle into a routine. All things considered, its not that bad.
I am assuming that you are referring to Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun. DCI is the reception for all adult male inmates. This is where your son will go through A&E - Assessment and Evaluation. First of all, be assured that it is NOTHING like what you see on TV or in movies.
Upon arrival your son will go through an orientation. He will be given basic toiletries to get him started, issued clothes and given a handbook filled with rules, policies and procedures. For the first couple of days he will be on complete lock down in a cell with one or possibly two other guys. He will not be able to make any phone calls during this time, but in the kit they give him during orientation there is a pen, paper and a couple of stamped envelopes so he will be able to write to you. After those initial couple of days he will be moved to a different area where he will share a cell with at least one other guy. Once he is in this area he will have a little more freedom - he can sign up to go to the library, he will be able to eat his meals in the chow hall instead of in his cell, he can sign up to make phone calls, he can sign up to go to Bible Study, rec or chapel, etc...
During his first few days at DCI he will undergo medical, dental, psych and vision evaluations. Once he has completed all of the required initial testing he will move either to a different cell area or to the barracks - which is a large open dorm setting. At DCI moving to the barracks during A&E is considered a privilege vs being in a cell. The barracks is a large open room lined with bunks. It also has what they call a day room that has tables, a TV and phones. In addition, there are bathrooms and showers. The benefit of being in the barracks is that you can be in the day room whenever it is open - where you can watch tv, play cards with other guys, use the phone at any time and use the shower whenever they are open. When you are in a cell you have scheduled shower times and you can only sign up to use the phone for 15 minutes once per day.
You will be assigned to a case worker who will meet with you to discuss the requirements of your time - i.e. any required programs that you must complete as part of your sentence - and discuss which facilities you would prefer to go to to. Keep in mind that this does not mean that you will actually be sent to one of your top three choices, but you are given the opportunity to specify so take advantage of it.
They say that A&E will take about 6-8 weeks, but don't get too hung up on that time frame - sometimes it can take much longer.
A couple of suggestions for you and your son:
Do some research now on the Wisconsin Prison Facilities - look at the DOC website to see where they are located and do your best to determine which ones offer the programs that your son will most likely need to complete as part of his sentencing. This way your son will be prepared when he is asked to list his top three choices.
As soon as your son arrives at DCI have him ask for visitor approval forms that he can mail to you. Complete these and return them ASAP to get the visit approval process started. Only immediate family can visit while he is in A&E at DCI. Even if you don't plan on visiting there, I strongly suggest getting the approval completed because they seem to be much faster at doing the approvals there than they are at the other facilities. Once you are approved to visit him you can visit him at any facility he is at in the system - you do not have to go through the process again.
Also be sure once he arrives at DCI (you will be able to check the DOC website to know when he arrives) to set up a phone account for him so that he can call you. After his initial days of lock down, he will be able to sign up for one 15 minute phone slot per day. Unless, like I said when he is in the barracks - then he can use the phones whenever the day room is open and the phones are available.
Also, if you plan on providing him with any funds for canteen - be sure to send the funds to DCI as soon as possible after his arrival so the money is on his books when the time comes that he can order from canteen. While at DCI he will be limited to what he can order from canteen, but he will be able to get toiletries, any over the counter medications he might need and also snack items.
Also, as soon as your son arrives at DCI you can write to him. Be sure to check out the mail procedures on the DCI page on the DOC website. The rules and address information are listed.
I am certain that you and your son are both anxious about his situation, but hopefully this information has helped put your mind at ease a bit. I would strongly suggest that your son take advantage of signing up for anything that he has any interest in - it helps the time pass more quickly. He will settle into a routine at DCI, but there will also be that bit of nervousness as he waits to find out where he is going to be placed to serve his time. Once he is at his "home" prison he will really be able to settle into a routine and hopefully his time will pass quickly.
I would also strongly suggest that your son do some research on this site to read about things like prison etiquette, etc.. There is some good information on how to handle different situations, things to avoid, etc...
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask. I am happy to help!
Best of luck to you and your son!
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