It is the philosophy of DWCC to provide correctional services in a professional manner in order to protect the safety of the public, staff, and imprisoned people. Consistent with DWCC’s mission, we believe it is our responsibility to provide meaningful opportunities to enhance (through a variety of educational, work, social services, and medical programs) the ability of imprisoned people to successfully reintegrate into our society upon release.
From 1-20 West, take Exit # 67 (Highway 9 North). Next, take Highway 9 North to Highway 79 Turn right onto Highway 79 Take Highway 79 through Homer (around courthouse square stay on Highway 79 North) Just past intersection of state Highway 2, take a right onto Highway 520. Drive eight miles on Highway 520, then turn left onto Bell Hill Road. DWCC front gate is approximately half a mile on the left.
From 1-20 East, take Exit # 49. Next, take a left and cross back over 1-20 onto Highway 532 North. Turn right on Highway 79 towards Homer, then take Highway 79 North though Homer, around the courthouse square stay on Highway 79 North. Just past intersection of state Highway 2, take a right onto Highway 520. Go eight miles on Highway 520, then turn left onto Bell Hill Road. DWCC front gate is approximately half a mile on the left.
DWCC recognizes the importance of visitation in helping people in prison maintain family ties. Visitation with family members is a vital aspect in the rehabilitation of a person in prison and is encouraged.
Regular visiting days are Saturday and Sunday only. Visiting hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. However, incoming visitors will not be admitted between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Also, no visits start after 3:00 p.m. Only six (6) visitors will be allowed in the visiting room to visit an imprisoned person at any given time. There will be no visiting on a weekend in which the Sunday is the fifth Sunday of a month.
Each imprisoned person must request that visitors be approved for his visiting list. The Visitation Department will advise the imprisoned person of approval or denial of the visitor. The imprisoned person is responsible for notifying his visitor of the final outcome. An approved visitor may visit two times each month. Visitors must be on the “approved visiting list” or have approval for a special visit in advance by the warden or his designee. Special visits must be requested by the imprisoned person.
Children who are 14 and under do not need to be on the visiting list if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Persons in this category may be requested to provide a birth certificate as verification of their age. Visitors who are 15 years of age and over must have picture identification in order to visit an imprisoned person. Visitors can deposit money in the account of the imprisoned person by using the JPAY kiosk located in the Visitor Processing Area. Visitors are allowed to bring only the following items into the Visiting Room:
All other items must be left in your vehicle.
Dress Code for Visitors
Visitors should be aware that visiting areas are designed to cultivate a family friendly atmosphere and visitors should act and dress accordingly. The following apparel is considered inappropriate and shall result in the denial of visits:
Educational programs offered at DWCC are in keeping with the Department’s mission of providing opportunities for people in prison to enhance and obtain job skills sufficient to successfully reintegrate into society. DWCC partners with the Louisiana Technical College System and the Department of Education to provide the following variety of educational programs:
Adult Basic Education/HSE
Academic programs in Adult Basic Education (ABE) are available and include an instructional level for people who cannot read up to the fourth grade reading level; pre-HSE, covering grade levels five through eight; and High School Equivalency (HSE) programs, covering grade nine through completion to attain a diploma.
Developmental studies provide educational programming for people in prison who have completed their GED or HSE, but failed to meet a sufficient score on the entrance test for admittance into a vocational program.
Special School District
The Special School District 1 Educational Program provides for the search and identification of imprisoned people who are up to age 25 and who have been determined to have medical, emotional, and/or physical needs which could not be met in the regular classroom. Individual education plans (I.E.P.S.) are prepared to accommodate the imprisoned person’s special needs.
Vocational Education Programs
The Louisiana Technical College Northwest Campus administers the vocational educational programs offered at DWCC. Certificates in specialized programs include Technical Competency Areas (TCA), Certificate of Technical Studies (CTS), or the entire curriculum to earn a technical diploma in the following fields is available:
Mental Health/Social Services
The DWCC Mental Health and Social Services Department provides a range of resources appropriate to meet the needs of people in prison including individual and group counseling, family planning/counseling, parental education, and community services. A qualified mental health professional administers all of DWCC’s counseling services. Specialized treatment programs include the following:
A contract psychiatrist and a licensed psychologist conduct triage psychiatric clinics for imprisoned people who were identified and diagnosed with psychological disorders. The Mental Health Department also completes aftercare referrals to appropriate agencies for people who discharge from prison with mental health needs.
It is the mission of DWCC’s Medical Department to provide comprehensive health services for people in prison. The Department offers professional care and provides for a continuous systematic review of policy, procedure and practice to offer health services and education which will enhance the ability of the imprisoned person to successfully reintegrate into society upon release.
Medical Services include:
A secure prison ward is operated by DWCC at UHS in Monroe, Louisiana. This is a joint effort between the Department of Corrections and UHS. DWCC provides security staff while UHS provides medical staff. People who are incarcerated in parish jails from north Louisiana may be admitted to the ward provided space is available. People serving time for state felonies are given priority for bed space.
DWCC’s Reentry initiatives provide assessment, identification and linkage for people with services specific to their reentry needs. DWCC begins preparing imprisoned people for release from their point of entry into the institution to the development of Reentry Accountability Plans (ReAP). The imprisoned person also receives 100 hours of pre-release instruction which includes effective communication, victim awareness, anger management, problem-solving, values and goal setting, health and wellness, substance abuse treatment, budgeting and money management, family dynamics, employment skills, and information concerning conditions of parole prior to release.
Faith-based programming is an essential component in the overall mission of DWCC. Well-trained religious volunteers offer a significant resource and are essential to the success in meeting the goal of providing a meaningful opportunity for change. Religious programming is coordinated by a full-time Chaplain. The DWCC Chaplaincy provides daily faith-based programming for people in prison. The services range from traditional worship to contemporary praise and worship services. Several programs incorporate study groups of various religious beliefs.
The Records Office is responsible for all aspects involving the maintenance of records including an imprisoned person’s time computation and re-computation in accordance with state and federal laws as well as departmental regulations. The Records Office also maintains a Pre-Classification District inclusive of twenty-two parishes.
The Classification Department ensures that various aspects of incarceration related to public safety, rehabilitation, discipline, and welfare are met for imprisoned people from the time of preliminary classification through until discharge. Classification operates within the unit management system and works closely with security as well as other departments such as mental health, medical and education. The Classification Program promotes the development of life, job and educational skills among people in prison and encourages participation in various self-help groups and organizations.
DWCC also serves as the Northeast Regional facility responsible for the guidance and oversight of the people serving time for state felonies but are housed in one of twenty-seven local jail facilities, twelve Transitional Work Programs and one Reentry Reentry Program (female).
The Human Resources Department manages all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotion, position control, payroll, and related benefits. Staff achievement and recognition is a vital component in meeting the institution’s mission and goals.
The DWCC Training Department is responsible for coordination of all pre-service, in-service, and specialized training programs. Training curriculums are formulated based on position requirements, professional development needs, current correctional issues and new theories, techniques, and technologies.
DWCC provides staff and people in prison opportunities to participate in Project Clean Up in the DOTD district that includes Union and Lincoln parishes. Additionally, work crews made up of imprisoned people provide general maintenance services to the Town of Homer and Haynesville along with providing assistance during emergency and natural disaster situations. Canine Units assist local law enforcement agencies in the apprehension of criminal suspects, drug detection, and other related public safety issues.
Located in the piney hills of north Louisiana, David Wade Correctional Center opened in 1980 and was the first medium security state prison in north Louisiana. DWCC is located on approximately 1,500 acres of land, most of which is timberland. The original facility was designed to house approximately 650 people who were designated to minimum/medium custody.
The facility was comprised primarily of four dormitories and one special management unit and is commonly referred to as the North Compound. In the spring of 1987, an additional compound was added for the primary purpose of housing imprisoned people for disciplinary reasons. The unit consists of four cellblocks and one transitional dormitory and is referred to as the South Compound. The facility has an operational capacity of 1,244 people with 48 percent being comprised of people in maximum custody. DWCC was the first state operated facility in Louisiana to be accredited by the American Correctional Association’s Commission on Accreditation in 1992. It has since been re accredited in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013.