A Day in Prison Life: Nicole's story

NEW ENGLAND, N.D. - The Dakota Women's Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in New England, North Dakota, has room for 126 inmates. It's over capacity.

Many of the women doing time there were jailed on drug charges, which are rising sharply. New laws passed in the last session are designed to lower the numbers by focusing less money on incarceration, and more on rehabilitation.

Nicole Koch works as a seamstress in prison industries because of something she did in October of 2016. She was arrested for trying to kidnap a Mandan woman's grandchild.

"I don't remember anything that day," said Koch.

A series of setbacks, a bad relationship, losing all of her possessions in a fire, sent her looking for relief through drugs. And while she has no memory of the events that sent her to prison, she makes no excuses.

"Since I almost harmed somebody else, it really gets me," said Koch.

She wants to get her own kids back and says she's doing everything she can to make that happen.

"Being here in general, it's hard being away from your kids, away from family. But, you have to take time to work on yourself, and I guess it's for the better," said Koch.

Koch is also training as a welder, a job she can take with her when she leaves. But even more important, she says is the rehabilitation.

Rachelle Juntunen is the warden at the women's prison.

"It's become kind of the norm for judges to send people to prison for treatment. We've become treatment centers instead of prisons, so we see a lot of people with chemical dependency issues and they really need help," said Juntunen.

James Murphy is a chaplain at the prison and said: "Most of these women have addiction problems and if we look at a composite, encompassing the treatment program, besides the therapy, we have religion, we have classes, we have schools. All these things need to come together to make treatment work."

Nicole hopes to be out in March to begin a new life.