Director, Mike Ferriter, Montana Department Of Corrections
Ferriter oversees an agency with 1,300 employees, an annual budget of about $170 million
It has been brought to our attention by many that are upset with Montana State Prison. Montana Department Of Corrections has implemented new rules for a certain segment of the population. Only a certain segment, not the whole population. They have picked out a certain portion of inmates and keep them more isolated. Anyone that is under sex offender or violent offender is not allowed to have visits except for two days a week now. Only on Wednesdays and Fridays. Hours are shorter also. So, families that work and families where their own children are in school will never be allowed to see their parent, or loved one again. The phone calls are so expensive that it is hard to afford to talk to them on the phone. No weekend visits allowed. Father’s Day was just celebrated and families were not allowed to see their fathers. Wives cannot see their husbands. Who implemented this new rule, without warning? One week warning is not enough. Inmates did not know about it. DOC posted it on a board in the units about a week before it took effect. They could not warn their families and some showed up and were turned away. Visitors, just several days before it took effect, could get a handout sitting on the check in desk.
Revisions to the visiting procedures at Montana State Prison took effect Wednesday, June 6.
Inmates were notified of the changes earlier. The revised procedures can be found on the
Department of Corrections website at
http://www.cor.mt.gov/Facts/visitingInformation/msp.mcpx. Also available on the website are
downloadable copies of the visitor questionnaire and the dress code for visitors.
The changes involve:
posting of visiting rules and regulation
availability of visitor questionnaires
visiting by current and former Department of Corrections employees
notification of visitor applicants
applicants ability to appeal a decision
attorneys listed on as an inmate’s regular visitor
accommodation of visitors with medical issues
visiting hours for adults and children
items visitors are allowed to have with them
the process for terminating, suspending and revoking visiting privileges
Bill of Rights for
Children of the Incarcerated*
Every child with a parent in prison (or alternatives to
prison) has the following rights:
1. To be kept safe and informed at the time of my
2. To be heard when decisions are made about me;
3. To be considered when decisions are made about
4. To be well-cared for in my parent’s absence;
5. To speak with, see, and touch my parent;
6. To support as I face my parent’s incarceration;
7. To not be judged, blamed or labeled because my
parent is incarcerated;
8. To have a lifelong relationship with my parent.
MAFTI Guide for Caregivers Page 3
4. When can I see my family member?
In most cases, family members can visit in jail, prison or other correctional facilities. The Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) supports the connection between children andtheir parents if contact is safe and appropriate for the child.
The best answer is one that gives the child a specific time to
look forward to, but only if you are sure.
Page 10 MAFTI Guide for Caregivers
Montana State Prison Inmate Visiting
Immediate family member – An inmate’s legal spouse, natural or adoptive parents and children, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, corresponding in-law, person verified as being primarily responsible for raising the inmate in the absence of a parent and any other member of the inmate’s household.
- Visiting is a privilege and not a right for both inmates and members of the general public.
Hours of visitation:
- Visiting is allowed Wednesday through Sunday. Visitors arriving on any other day will be turned away.
- Visitors may not arrive on prison property prior to 2:15 p.m. or after 4:50 p.m. Visitors arriving prior to 2:15 p.m. or after 4:50 p.m. will be turned away.
- All visiting may be cancelled or terminated at any time due to security concerns.
- General population inmates housed in units A, B, C, D, HSU-I, HSU-II and the Work and Re-entry Center are allowed five visiting periods per week, Wednesday through Sunday.
- Visiting on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays ends at 7:30 pm. Visiting on Thursdays, ends at 5:00 pm.
- Visiting on Wednesdays and Fridays are for adults (age 18 and over) only.
- Visiting on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays is open to adults and minors.
- On a case-by-case basis, visiting may be restricted for inmates who have restrictions in their sentencing orders related to contact between the inmate and others. This restriction may be imposed if it is in the interest of visitor safety, the security of the institution or the inmate’s rehabilitation.
- Inmates meeting the above criteria are allowed visits only on Wednesdays and Fridays, when only adults (age 18 and over) are allowed to visit, and will receive written notice of the restriction to enable them to notify the people who are visiting them of the restrictions.
- If an inmate is identified as meeting the requirements for the restriction, he may appeal it by submitting court papers to the security major that indicate the court orders have been changed or the restriction is in error.
3. Inmates can send or receive an unlimited amount of correspondence without restriction to
source, destination, or content if the inmate can afford postage and complies with this
procedure, unless reasonable belief exists that limitation is required to protect public
safety or the secure and orderly operation of the facility.
The cost per day at the prisons varies due to the disparity in the services and programming provided and the custody levels of the inmates housed there. The cost per day at Crossroads is $63.98 for each inmate. The cost per day at Montana State Prison is $94.19. The higher rate is because MSP functions, to a great extent, as a special-needs facility in the Montana prison network.
MSP has specialized programs and services that are not available elsewhere. It has:
A full infirmary that is capable of providing inmates with extensive and chronic medical and dental
Intensive treatment units for chemical dependent and methamphetamine-addicted inmates
Sex offender treatment
- This is all from Montana Department Of Corrections Website. They did not even give a 30 day notice to inmates. They did not give a 30 day notice at all to families so children could see their parent one last time. Then to top it all off….they only handed out the new rules to this segment of the population this past Saturday evening June 16th,2012, (took effect 6-06-2012) while the rest of the population was in lock-down. They called each inmate down one by one to the cages and gave them rules. Allowing all other inmates in the population to know what this segment had been incarcerated for. That is ENDANGERMENT! They put these other inmates in a very volatile situation with inmates making jeers about “now they know why they are in prison for.” Who is running these prisons? What would possess someone to announce this new change that way? Why not put the new rules for this segment under the doors at night just like they do for mail? That would be the business way and smartest way to do this. No, they intentionally did it that way to cause either a riot, cause a problem for those getting ready for parole, cause someone to get killed or someone to commit suicide. These are the type of people running these facilities? And you wonder why there is such a problem with suicides? Not even giving the fact that some of these inmates are in there wrongly convicted or convicted of a different crime.
- Other major issue. They are going against their own policies as far as families are concerned. Not all offenders are in there for pedophilia. As you have already seen all throughout this website they throw many under the label without there being reason too. But….still…let’s go one more step….there is NO threat in the visiting area. There is more staff at MSP then you ever see at any other facility. We have never seen so many officers at a prison. Other officers from other states agree when they hear this. They say they are understaffed….but that is a joke. They are hiring all the time, more females, which is what they have had a major felony scandal that was committed by female officers there at MSP. Female officers having sex with inmates, but they want to ignore that. Young girls out of school should not be working at places such as this. Female officers hanging around with a group of inmates discussing other inmates cases. Officers wanting to be noticed. There are officers loitering around everywhere. Is this just a place to house jobs but you don’t want to call it warehousing inmates? Well, if that is the case they have way over enough officers to do their jobs during visiting hours. What are they getting paid for? What is all this money in the budget going too? They are cutting everything out. Visits, phone calls (too expensive), mail (if they have money for postage), not allowed to have bibles donated to them. What kind of barbaric practices are being used at this facility? Montanans want to know. Us taxpayers want to know. That is a lot of money for no one wanting to do their job or offer any humane services.