Montana Board Of Pardons & Parole Accreditation Is Not The Real Deal

Montana Board Of Pardons And Parole Paid For Accreditation Award

Montana Board Of Pardons And Parole Paid For Accreditation Award

At the July 10th, Law and Justice Interim Committee, Ms.Fern Osler – Executive Director of the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole  made much to do over the Board’s ACA Accreditation.   She has brought it up at every single meeting last year, and at the Judiciary Hearings this past session,  a big opponent of the new SJR3 Study.  An in depth study of the parole board.  The board went about showing off that certificate like it meant everything.  If you look at their website, you will see how they try to exemplify and surround this whole certificate as a means of justification that the state of Montana does not need to do an internal study.   That their behavior has been above board and legit.

Let’s take a look at  ACA, known as American Correctional Association .

ACA is an incarceration industry booster  organization.  Its accreditation is somewhat like the Academy Awards  where the entertainment industry gathers to congratulate itself.  ACA  accreditation is available only to ACA members.  It’s fee based, not honorific based. 

Here you can apply or renew your membership online, download a printable application and update your current membership information.

ACA ‘s Gift Membership Program – You can even purchase it as a gift for someone else, a co-worker, a family member.  (Are you serious?)

The Accreditation Fee Letter  shows that as of 1/1/2009 that on top of  membership fees, the fee for the accreditation process is $3000 per  day + $1500 per auditor, apparently aside from travel reimbursement,  for a 3-year accreditation. If that was for 2009, what is the price now?   You can get a “whole household” membership.  ACA Membership Page

Fern Osler has this to say on the Montana Board Of Pardons And Parole Website.

The process of having your peers evaluate what you are doing within the field and then having them find your work is outstanding by definition of the Accreditation Standards is rewarding. The Board wishes to thank all staff for their hard work in making this happen. Ultimately,  it is the citizens of the State of Montana that benefit by knowing the Parole process in Montana is working well. The new report on accreditation is available below.

Excuse me?  Paid peers, that is taking their money, the taxpayers money, your money.

It seems like it would be a good question for the legislative to ask  Ms. Osler how much the  Board paid for its last accreditation, that is good all the way through 2016?   How much did they pay for the Award and the Letter? 

The Montana Board of Pardons And Parole goes on to state how many they release, 6 out of 10. Sounds like someone is  fudging the books or keeping a second set of books, as seen here:

Montana’s Board Of Pardons And Parole And Their Gang.

There are 72% that are eligible for parole and never get looked at, 60% that are denied parole the first time round and 94% that are returned to prison on a violation of probation due to technical issues.  We hear from families and from Department of Correction officers that the parole board lets out those that they know will fail, which is why they have such a high recidivism rate.    They also use ridiculous reasons to return an inmate to prison.  We have been collecting much data, tons of documentation to give you examples of these situations where they are sending people back to prison.  Be on the lookout for that upcoming series.   Montana Prison Families are coming together strong, to prove that the legislature is being hoodwinked, that the state of Montana is being hoodwinked also.   It’s more than just the families, many groups and advocates network and discuss all the time what a great problem and mess this is.

This man John Ward, who was on the parole board as seen here  Montana Parole Board  threatened the wife of an inmate in the corridor of the Montana Capitol.  That is a civil threat, that was acted upon and is a criminal felony by law.    This board member attended the hearing, he did not speak up at the Capitol after the threat was made known and he just termed out of the position.  John Ward Businessman 3/10/2009 -1/1/2013.   Before this position he was a state legislator, as seen here.

John Ward

John Ward

But the state department allows this kind of behavior, threats and harassment via computers out of the capitol.  If this were you or I, we would have already been arrested and sitting in a Montana jail.  But the good ole’  boys club lets it ride, once again.

So, who is monitoring this group of people that have to answer to no one?  Who are now the Gods Above The Law.

Categories: Montana BOPP | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monster – Wrongful Conviction

 by Joe Simnovec & Paul Paulin Video

Monster – Wrongful Conviction


Published on Apr 8, 2013

Lyrics by Joe Simnovec, music by Paul Paulin.

A song for the wrongfully convicted.


Stuck here in this place full of steel.
The money didn’t get me no deal.
Time, this time the time is for real.
How could this be happening to me.
why why why why me?
I could not do that no not me.
You got the wrong guy don’t you see?
I would not do that let me be
I told you the truth. Set me free.
no, no, no, no not me.
You, You were a bad boy
you’re gonna do the time
you’re lawyer wasn’t good enough
jail time – a big fine.
your hairs to long, your clothes are too dirty
if it was up to me
I would give you more then thirty.
how do you think that we’re gonna live?
We’re gonna squeeze your money
your gonna have to give. When you’re all dried up
we’re gonna feel better.
If the systems at fault, you can always send a letter.
Help, I must be in a bad dream
and now, now you can see what I mean.
help, help, hell help me
Time passes so fast, I never felt so low.
Hope I’m gonna last, where did it all go?
I’ve been in this trap for so long.
How can we let the monster go on?
Don’t forget me another day…
In the end we all have to pay.
free, free, free, free me.

Joseph Simnovec 2010

  • Standard YouTube License

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Free Workshop On The Prison Phone Industry, Today, July 10th, 2013

According to Prison Policy Initiative 

Why are families forced to pay $17 for a 15-minute phone call from a loved one in the Hampden County Jail in Massachusetts?  Why are families forced to pay $12-$18 for a 15-minute phone call from a loved one in the Cascade County Regional Prison in Montana?  This video will explain why.

*Cascade County Regional Prison is private owned, but leases out the prison to Montana Department of Corrections.  Cascade uses Securus Telephone System,  Shelby uses Global Telephone System and Montana State Prison uses Telmate Phone Systems.  We have been told by Telmate  that the prison purchaser is the one that decides the flat rates.  It’s all about kickbacks and profit off the backs of families that are struggling already.  Shame! Shame!

July 10th, 2013 will be an important day in the fight to bring fairness to the prison and jail telephone industry.

Aleks Kajstura puts the finishing touches on 1,200 pages of evidence from our report

Aleks Kajstura puts the finishing touches on 1,200 pages of evidence – Prison Policy Initiative

Please Deposit All of Your Money: Kickbacks, Rates, and Hidden Fees in the Jail Phone Industry

As I write, our Executive Director, Peter Wagner, is on his way down to D.C. for the Federal Communication Commission’s Workshop on Reforming Inmate Calling Services Rates tomorrow. Peter will present our research findings on fees and commissions on a panel about the true cost of providing phone service in prisons and jails.

The workshop is from 9am-5pm EST tomorrow, Wednesday July 10th, and the FCC needs to hear from you. There are lots of ways to participate:

  1. The workshop is free and open to the public. If you are in the D.C. area, please consider attending in person at the FCC Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC.
  2. If you can’t make it in person, watch the live stream of the workshop online starting at 9AM EST tomorrow morning.
  3. Spread the word and make your voice heard on social media. Join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #phonejustice (we’ll be Tweeting as usual under the handle @prisonpolicy).
  4. Ask questions you’d like answered at the workshop by emailing or tweeting them at @FCC with the FCC’s suggested hashtag #InmateCallingRates.

After more than a decade, it’s time for the FCC to finally provide relief to the families of incarcerated people by regulating the prison phone industry. Tomorrow’s workshop is a step in the right direction.

Categories: Prison Phone Rates | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Montana Prison Family Network


A networking group, hosted on Facebook, where families of inmates that are currently residing or have resided in the Montana prison system can come together. A place to encourage one another, exchange ideas, and advocate for a better system within the Montana Department Of Corrections and the Montana Judicial System. You must have a loved one or friend within the Montana System to be a member.  Advocates and Native Americans welcome.  We also have a private support group that is separate.
Please contact us here, if you would like to become a member.  *Must become approved first as both groups are closed and private.
We are making a difference!  We are growing fast and we are Montana Prison Family Strong!


Categories: MT Speaks Up | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Boys in Custody Sexually Abused by Female Guards at Alarming Rate


It would be a more conducive environment with male officers working at male institutions and female officers working at female institutions. This would remedy this issue.

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

Pattern follows sexual abuse tactics where power difference is great.

Photo Credit: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock.

Source: Pro Publica

by Joaquin Sapien


The older authority figure wins the trust of the young target by cultivating a false friendship, having heart-to-heart conversations, giving gifts, offering protection. And then the sex ensues, sometimes forced, sometimes seemingly consensual.

It is a classic predatory tactic known as “grooming,” and no one familiar with it could have been terribly surprised when a new report from the U.S. Department of Justice declared that young people in the country’s juvenile detention facilities are being victimized in just this way. The youngsters in custody are often deeply troubled, lacking parents, looking for allies. And the people in charge of the facilities wield great power over the day-to-day lives of their charges.

What was a genuine shock to many was the finding that in the vast majority of instances, it…

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The Dirty Thirty: Nothing to Celebrate About 30 Years of Corrections Corporation of America

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

Prison for Profit: CCA, GEO et al Put Revenues...

Prison for Profit: CCA, GEO  Put Revenues Ahead of Rehabilitation (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

Prisons for Profit are morally and socially wrong.  Click the link below to read all 30 reports….

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s oldest and largest for-profit private prison corporation, is commemorating its 30th anniversary throughout 2013 with a series of birthday celebrations at its facilities around the country.

Over the last 30 years, CCA has benefited from the dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States. Since the company’s founding in 1983, the incarcerated population has risen by more than 500 percent to more than 2.2 million people. Meanwhile, the number of people held in immigrationdetention centers has exploded from an average daily population of 131 people to over 32,000 people on any given day.

CCA has made profits from, and at times contributed to, the expansion of tough-on-crime and anti-immigrant…

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The Money Behind Our Prison System

Prison Corporations In America

Prison Corporations In America

According to a recent article from smartasset written by Brian Kincade:

The American prison system is massive. So massive that its estimated turnover of $74 billion eclipses the GDP of 133 nations. What is perhaps most unsettling about this fun fact is that it is the American taxpayer who foots the bill, and is increasingly padding the pockets of publicly traded corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group. Combined both companies generated over $2.53 billion in revenue in 2012, and represent more than half of the private prison business. So what exactly makes the business of incarcerating Americans so lucrative?

Most of it has to do with the way the American legal system works, and how it has changed over the last 40 years. In the 1970’s, lawmakers were dealing with a nationwide rash of drug-use and crime. By declaring a nation-wide war on drugs in 1971, President Richard Nixon set a precedent for hard-line policies towards drug-related crime.  New York governor Nelson Rockefeller followed suit declaring “For drug pushing, life sentence, no parole, no probation.”  His policies once put into action promised 15 years to life in prison for drug users and dealers. His policies catalyzed the growth of a colossal corrections system that currently houses an estimated 2.2 million inmates.


The average cost of incarcerating an American prisoner varies from state to state. Some states, like Indiana have managed to keep prices low at around $14,000 per inmate. While states like New York pay around $60,000 to keep its citizens behind bars. The costs of running the American prison system is expensive and has become increasingly so despite public opposition.

According to a 2012 Vera Institute of Justice study, the number of those incarcerated has increased by over 700% over the last four decades. The cost to the taxpayer? $39 billion.

Where is all of this money going? The Vera institute study contends that that many corrections-related costs, such as employee benefits and taxes, pension contributions, retiree health care contributions, legal judgments and claims are deemed central administrative costs. Moreover, many states fund inmate services—such as hospital care in 8 states, and education and training in 12 states—outside of their corrections departments.  It’s a nice accounting trick but this amounts to a $5.4 billion gap between the reported corrections budgets of the 40 states examined by the study—$33.5 billion—and the actual cost to taxpayer of $39 billion.

Continue to read The Economics of the American Prison System

Montana, remember this prison system and this prison mentality is right in “your” backyard.  This corporation is in bed with the political system.  Helping to create new laws to lock “you” up.  Donating and funding money for lobbying, and for special events, such as Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s Inaugural Ball.   The prison system is growing fast and then add in the factor of a Board Of Pardons And Parole that on the majority will not release inmates that are doing very well.  Instead they release those that they think will end back up in the economic prison loop.  Montana has the highest incarceration rate than any other state surrounding.  It is time for reform.  It is time for taxpayers to stop  paying for a system that we cannot afford, just to line the pockets of corporations and politicians and state officials receiving kickbacks.

Sources: CCA, Vera Institute of Justice, The Nation, AFSC, CJR, University of Chicago Crime Lab, Barclays Capital, NPR, AFSC

Photo Credit: CCA, The New York Times, KQED

Categories: Montana Politics, Wake Up America | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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