PORTAGE, Wis. – The Columbia County Correctional Institution in Portage is on day 12 of a lockdown, according to the Department of Corrections.

The prison has been on lockdown since Monday, Jan. 14 to “perform a complete and thorough search of the facility” and “rid the institution of any contraband that may have been introduced into the facility over time,” DOC deputy communications director Clare Hendricks said, adding that lockdowns are performed periodically at the institution.

CCI is a maximum-security Institution that houses approximately 840 inmates.

During the lockdown, visitation is suspended. The Department of Corrections is responding to family members and providing them information about the lockdown, while maintaining a safe process, Hendricks said. When the institution returns to normal, the DOC will proactively communicate with families.

Family members with questions can send emails to DOCMedia@wisconsin.gov and they will receive a response, Hendricks said. Inmates who have purchased a tablet are able to send emails and mail is being processed on a daily basis.

Inmates have, and will continue to have access to showers on a modified schedule through the lockdown.

“I can confirm that inmates are receiving three meals a day, including one hot meal that conforms to the caloric and nutritional standards,” Hendricks said.

Citing concerns over the integrity and safety of the search, Hendricks declined to comment on the reason for the lockdown.

“Our staff continue to perform the search of the facility, and as the search progresses, the status of the lockdown will be monitored,” Hendricks said.

Top photo: Department of Corrections file photo