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Locked
in the Past
Montana’s Jails in Crisis
The American Civil
Liberties Union of Montana

Contents
Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………….........................................................................1
Background Initiative and Methodology………………………………………………...............................................................2
Background Information on Montana County Detention Centers…………………..................................................4
Issues in Montana Detention Centers……………………………….…………………...............................................................6
	

Overview……………………………………………………………………………........................................................................6	

	

Suicide……………………………………………………………………………….........................................................................7

	

Solitary Confinement……………………………………………………………..................................................................9

	

Staffing……………………………………………………………………………........................................................................11

	

Medical Care………………………………………………………………………....................................................................13

	

Mental Health Care……………………………………………………………….................................................................16

	

Overcrowding………………………………………………………………………...................................................................19

	

Basic Necessities of Exercise, Fresh Air, and Natural Light………………...............................................22

		Outdoor and Indoor Exercise………………………………………............................................................23
		Natural Light and Lighting Schedule……………………………….......................................................24
	

Outdated Facilities and Brig Jails……………………………………………............................................................25

	

Sanitation and Plumbing………………………………………….………….................................................................27

	

Laundry and Clothing……………………………………………………………	.............................................................. 29

	

Visitation…………………………………………………………………………........................................................................31

	

Mail and Phone Communication………………………………………………............................................................32

	

Law Library Access……………………………………………………………….	...............................................................34

	

Food………………………………………………………………………………….......................................................................35

	

Grievance Procedure…………………………………………………………….................................................................38

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………..........................................................................39
Appendices	
	

A. Prisoner Questionnaire …………………………………….……………….............................................................. 41

	

B. Sources of Information and Methodology…………………………………....................................................47

	

C. Detention Center Background Information………………………………......................................................48

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D. Prisoner Perceived Safety…………………………………………………….............................................................50

	

E. Adequacy of Medical Care…………………………………………………….......................................................... 51

	

F. Adequacy of Mental Health Services………………………………………........................................................52

	

G. Reported Absence of Fresh Air………………………………………………....................................................... 53

	

H. Reported Cold Detention Centers………………………………………….........................................................54

	

I. Reported Access to Natural Light…………………………………………..........................................................55

	

J. Prisoner Satisfaction with Lighting Schedule……………………………...................................................56

	

K. Prisoner Reported Adequate Plumbing……………………………………......................................................57

	

L. Reported Mold………………………………………………………………….................................................................58

	

M. Prisoner Satisfaction with Laundry and Clothing……………………….................................................59

	

N. Provided Adequate Amount of Clothing………………………………….......................................................60

	

O. Clothing Cleanliness and Quality…………………………………………...........................................................61

	

P. Prisoner Reported Satisfaction with Visitation…………………………....................................................62

	

Q. Prisoner Reported Access to Legal Materials……………………………...................................................63

	

R. Prisoner Satisfaction with Food…………………………………………….........................................................64

	

S. Prisoner Satisfaction with Quantity of Food………………………………..................................................65

	

T. Prisoner Satisfaction with Variety of Food……………………………….....................................................66

	

U. Prisoner Satisfaction with Grievance Procedure…………………………................................................67

	

V. Missoula Detention Center Exercise Policies and Procedures ……...…........................................68

Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………...................................................................70

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Despite heralding itself as a champion of freedom and human liberty, the United States has the second
highest incarceration rate in the world, taking second only to the African nation of Seychelles.1 Of
the incarcerated, statistics suggest that as many as 38% are being held in county detention centers
and many of those inmates are held pre-trial. These pre-trial prisoners–an estimated 21.6% of all
incarcerated Americans—are detained before guilt is proven in a court of law, weakening the proud
American axiom that our citizens are “innocent until proven guilty.”2
Problematically, many county detention centers lack adequate funding
“Most inmates are
and struggle to effectively manage the incarcerated. The impacts these
just
normal people
often-deplorable conditions can have on individuals and society as a
like you and I.”
whole are extremely far reaching. Neglect in county detention centers,
coupled with a prevalence of mental illness, leads to a high rate of
– Glacier County Detention
recidivism, which turns the justice system into a revolving door that is a
Center Administrator
blight on county, state, and federal budgets.
Incarceration rates have started to decrease for the first time in decades, albeit at a glacial pace. The
reduction of the incarceration rate is largely fueled by the financial realities and burdens of housing an
historic number of prisoners at local, state, and federal levels. County detention centers play a unique
role in this process in that they often house people on the front-end of the criminal justice system, such
as pretrial detention, and can thus be addressed with different measures than state or federal prisons.
County detention centers can improve through coercion, such as litigation, or through collaboration
between entities with shared goals.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana (ACLU) is eager to work with counties to improve
detention center conditions, streamline local criminal justice policies, and help make counties more
effective at screening, prosecuting, and housing the accused and convicted at local levels. The ACLU
of Montana has worked collaboratively with counties throughout the state. For example, the ACLU
helped Custer County officials come to grips with their deplorable and antiquated facility by passing a
successful bond measure to renovate its facilities. The ACLU is currently working with Lewis & Clark
County to assess options for pretrial release and other options for reducing their chronically over
crowded facility. The ACLU of Montana is working statewide on substantive criminal justice reform that
will allow the courts to respond to the unique needs of the accused on a path to rehabilitation, rather
than warehousing them in county detention centers.
The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview that identifies conditions of
confinement in county detention centers throughout Montana and provide recommendations regarding
how we might improve those conditions. The study utilized a three-prong methodology, including touring

1
International Centre for Prison Studies, “Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Rate.”
www.prisonstudies.org/highest-to-lowest/prison_population_rate?field_region_taxonomy_tid=All (Accessed January 2015).
2
International Centre for Prison Studies, “World Prison Brief: United States of America.”
www.prisonstudies.org/country/united-states-america. (Accessed January 2015).

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jails, interviewing administrators and prisoners, and sending a mixed-method questionnaire to all jail
inmates in the state.3 We identified several overarching trends, including:
• Overuse of solitary confinement for individuals with mental illness
• Inadequate numbers of detention staff
• Lack of access to fresh air
• Lack of access to natural light and exercise
• Inadequate medical and mental health care
• Overcrowding
• Lack of basic necessities such as underwear, socks, and bras
• Unconstitutional prohibitions on visitation from minors and non-family members
• Lack of access to law libraries
• Inadequate or unworkable grievance procedures
• Sub-par physical plant issues

BACKGROUND ON INITIATIVE
AND METHODOLOGY
Several factors led the ACLU of Montana to investigate conditions in county detention centers.
With over 1,000 county detention center beds in Montana and increasing lengths of stay for pre-trial
detainees, the number of complaints the ACLU receives from prisoners in county detention centers has
mushroomed. Concurrent with increasingly grave complaints from prisoners, the ACLU has observed
an unacceptable level of jail suicides for many years. Rather than re-evaluate the county detention
system, reform the broken bond system, and consider addiction and mental health treatment and
incarceration alternatives, counties throughout the state are building bigger detention centers. For the
most part, county detention issues are “out of sight, out of mind” for the general public, despite the
enormous amount of tax revenue spent on incarceration. It follows that detention is often a low priority
for elected county commissioners. The lack of any central agency overseeing county detention centers
made gathering information very difficult. As such, in 2012, this initiative was launched to gather that
information on a county-by-county basis.
This initiative incorporated numerous methodologies to investigate the state of Montana detention
centers. All but two counties with detention centers participated in either a phone or face-to-face
interview with Anna Conley, former staff attorney for the ACLU of Montana. Conley and other ACLU staff
toured 22 of the state’s 36 detention centers. In several detention centers, ACLU staff also conducted
interviews with prisoners. Interviews with prisoners and detention centers tours were conducted
between June 2012 and August 2014. In addition, ACLU staff mailed questionnaires to a portion
of prisoners in all detention centers then housing prisoners4 and asked detention staff to treat the

3

More information on the methodology of the study can be found in “Background on Initiative and Methodology” section of this
report.
4

2

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Questionnaires were not sent to prisoners in Granite & Wheatland Counties because no prisoners were housed there at the time.

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responses confidentially. ACLU of Montana collected responses from January 2013 through June 2014.
A copy of the questionnaire is attached as Appendix A.
We received 330 responses from prisoners in county detention centers throughout the state. While
obvious and reliable trends emerged in responses from prisoners in larger detention centers, in smaller
counties interpreting the extremely low number of responses created more ambiguity regarding
conditions. In order to have reliable feedback and manageable data, we decided to send questionnaires
to all prisoners if the detention population was fewer than 40. If detention population was higher, we
sent questionnaires to a maximum of 60 prisoners who had been incarcerated for at least two weeks.
The questionnaire consisted of qualitative and quantitative sections. The qualitative section set forth
questions addressing multiple issues in detention centers to which respondents could write in answers
describing their experiences. Several prisoners attached supplemental letters describing particular issues. Responses were analyzed and coded into a database to identify trends for various conditions and
issues in each detention center. Throughout this report, we set forth quotes from qualitative responses.
The quantitative section of the survey utilized Likert Scale questions regarding conditions issues, using
a scale from one to five (one for strongly disagree, two for disagree, three for neutral, four for agree, five
for strongly agree). Average responses were determined, and are set forth in the Appendices referenced
throughout this report and included at the end of the report. Counties with three or fewer responses
were deemed unreliable for reporting purposes because they were less likely to convey detention
center-wide trends.5

5

Choteau, Fallon, Hill, Musselshell, Valley, and Powell Counties were removed from the quantitative analysis due to a lack of
responses.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON MONTANA
COUNTY DETENTION CENTERS
Number of beds

The study focused on 36 county detention centers in the state. We focused on the 36 counties in the
state that have a county detention center. The counties that were not focused on either did not have a
detention center or only had a 72-hour hold facility. (See Appendix C.) There are approximately 1,000
county detention center beds throughout Montana, with approximately 300 of those beds designated
for female prisoners. Of the 36 centers studied, 27 had 50 beds or fewer, and of those, 11 had 20 or
fewer. Five detention centers have between 50 and 100 beds, and four counties have over 100 beds, with
Yellowstone County vastly exceeding all other counties with an average of 430 beds.6

Nature of offenses

Detention center administrators and county sheriffs reported the vast majority of crimes for which
individuals are incarcerated relates to prescription drug and alcohol abuse. Sheriffs and administrators
routinely estimated over 90% of the individuals held were charged with addiction-related offenses.
Several detention administrators and sheriffs reported a recent marked increase in female prisoners
charged with drug-related offenses.

Increasing pre-trial wait times

Detention administrators and sheriffs reported the average length of stay for felony pre-trial detainees
was three to nine months. They reported it is common for homicide or multiple felony charges to result
in stays over one year. The Dawson County admin reported having one prisoner for over two years, who
was still awaiting sentencing. Sheriffs and administrators pointed to over-burdened public defenders
and a slow criminal justice process as contributing to long pre-trial stays. In several rural counties,
district court judges come through the county only twice a month and public defenders must travel
great distances to meet with clients appear in court, which further adds to long pre-trial wait times.
Another factor in many counties was the lack of incarceration alternatives for prisoners. Several sheriffs
and administrators voiced frustration with a bond system that requires them to fill beds with people
accused of non-violent offenses, simply because they cannot post bond.
Detention administrators uniformly reported increases in the lengths of stay for DOC-sentenced individuals as they await transfer to a DOC facility. They reported that average wait times to move DOC-sentenced people after sentencing increased. Administrators reported wait times for DOC-sentenced
females substantially increased. For example, Broadwater County, a 48-bed detention center, almost
exclusively houses DOC-sentenced prisoners awaiting placement in a DOC facility. Despite this, Broadwater County’s detention center does not comply with some DOC policies, including policies guaranteeing daily outdoor recreation, certain commissary options, and hobby and education guarantees.
The bond system is another cause of long pre-trial lengths of stays. Individuals who are arrested and
brought to a jail are either released on their own recognizance or assigned a bail amount by a presiding
6
Yellowstone’s facility is built for 286 beds. However, overcrowding has resulted in the use of plastic makeshift beds called “boats”
and the administrator reported that an average of 430 prisoners are housed daily.

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judge. If the prisoner cannot afford to post bail, they are held in custody until their trial, which often
takes months, if not a year or more. Our bail system disproportionately affects the indigent, who lack the
financial resources to make bail and so remain incarcerated regardless of their innocence or guilt.

72-Hour Hold Facilities

Six rural counties have transitioned their detention centers to 72-hour hold facilities. (See Appendix
C.) Given resource limitations, this report excludes an in-depth analysis of 72-hour facilities.7 Counties
operating 72-hour hold facilities are obligated to provide constitutional levels of confinement. Given
that these facilities are on the “front lines,” they often house arrested individuals experiencing acute
medical or mental health episodes. Accordingly, the constitutional right to medical and mental health
care is especially applicable in these facilities. In 2014, a prisoner committed suicide in Custer County’s
detention facility, which currently operates as a 72-hour hold facility.8 By law, these facilities must be
adequately staffed and must adequately monitor prisoners to ensure that their medical and mental
health needs are met. Detention centers are never an appropriate alternative to a hospital.

Regional Prisons

Three counties in Montana operate regional prisons in their detention centers.9 These regional prisons
may house already sentenced state inmates as well as county inmates. We do not include the regional
prisons in this report, but do include information regarding the county side of the detention center (not the
side housing already convicted and sentenced state prisoners) of each of these detention centers. In these
regional prisons, the better conditions on the side of the detention center housing state prisoners contrast
sharply with the lack of adequate conditions for county pre-trial detainees. In Cascade County, for example,
DOC prisoners receive outdoor recreation and access to education and other programming as mandated
by DOC policy. On the county side of Cascade County’s Detention Center, prisoners have no outside exercise or recreation and individuals in solitary confinement in two 12-cell blocks do not have access to indoor
recreation. Cascade County does not even provide its county prisoners underwear, socks, and bras.
Even though extreme overcrowding exists on the county side of each of these detention centers, the state
side may not be used as an overflow area. In Dawson County, DOC sentenced prisoners can access a nice
gym and recreation area while pre-trial detainees in the county side of the detention center are not allowed
to access the same area under any circumstances. The result is that county pre-trial detainees, who are
innocent until and unless proven guilty, but who cannot afford bond, sit in cramped conditions without basic rights such as fresh air, sunlight, socks, or underwear—while in the same building, convicted prisoners
enjoy the benefits that DOC policy mandates. These disparities exist despite the ever-increasing length of
stay for pre-trial detainees, which regularly lasts for months and has been known to exceed a year.

Tribal Detention Centers

There are seven tribal detention centers in Montana.10 These are sometimes run by the tribe itself or by
the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Consideration of these detention centers is not included in this report.
7

Custer, Liberty, Sweet Grass, and Teton County operate 72-hour hold facilities.

8

Miles City man dies of apparent suicide in jail, NBC Montana, Jan. 7, 2014, available at
http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/miles-city-man-dies-of-apparent-suicide-in-jail/23813700
9

Missoula, Cascade, and Dawson Counties operate regional prisons.

10

Rocky Boy Tribal Detention Center, Box Elder; Fort Belknap Tribal Detention Center, Harlem; Fort Peck Tribal Detention Center,
Poplar; Crow Tribal Detention Center, Crow Agency; Northern Cheyenne Tribal Detention Center, Lame Deer; Flathead Tribal
Detention Center, Pablo; and Blackfeet Adult Detention Center, Browning.

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ISSUES IN MONTANA DETENTION CENTERS
This section addresses specific issues related to operations and conditions of Montana detention
centers by reviewing the applicable legal standards, setting forth findings based on our investigation,
and providing recommendations.

Overview

In many ways, county detention centers bear the brunt of a broken criminal justice system. Many county
detention centers in Montana have severe conditions issues and are underfunded, inadequately staffed,
and largely ignored by county commissioners, county law enforcement departments, and the public.
An inadequately funded statewide public defender system, a broken bond system, a lack of pre-trial
alternatives to incarceration, and a backlogged Montana Department of Corrections all mean that more
prisoners are staying in county detention centers for longer periods of time. Counties’ unwillingness
or inability to create and fund jail diversion programs puts the burden on county detention centers to
house criminally charged individuals, many of who would be better monitored in less restrictive and less
expensive settings. Many prisoners have drug or alcohol addiction issues, mental health issues, medical
needs, or developmental disabilities. Counties expect detention centers to be a psychiatric hospital,
emergency room, and drug rehabilitation clinic all in one, but do not provide the resources to address
any of these issues. The result is an inefficient and ineffective system that is unable to provide the
treatment and rehabilitation to stop people from repeatedly cycling through the criminal justice system.
Addressing these issues in county detention centers and providing efficient and effective pre-trial
alternatives to detention must become a high priority for counties across the state.
Within these detention centers more resources and attention needs to be directed to providing the
care prisoners require. For too long, counties have expected detention centers to house marginalized
individuals with serious mental illness, addiction issues, and medical needs without giving these
detention centers the funding or resources required to provide adequate care. As a result, individuals
charged with a crime often languish for months, and even years, in detention centers where they are
denied even some of the most basic necessities, such as underwear and sunlight. People with mental
and/or medical illnesses often deteriorate in detention centers that do not provide adequate care for
their conditions. Many, who rightfully should be in a hospital or clinical setting, are placed in solitary
confinement without proper medical oversight or medications for prolonged periods.
County detention centers also bear the brunt of housing people who violate probation and parole conditions and the ever-increasing numbers of people sentenced to Department of Corrections – DOC supervision, which may or may not include time in prison. Many languish in county detention centers awaiting beds in overcrowded DOC facilities. In addition, many DOC parole violations could be avoided with
adequate numbers of parole officers managing reasonable numbers of parolees. Reasonable probation
and parole caseloads help officers keep certain behaviors from turning into sanctionable violations.
Improving the conditions in county detention centers would not solve the problems of inadequate
community services for people with addiction issues or medical or mental illness, inadequate public
defender resources, or a broken bond system, but it would go a long way toward ensuring incarcerated
individuals in Montana are not subjected to cruel and unusual punishment while awaiting trial and
sentencing. It is time to re-focus attention on county detention centers to ensure all counties have the
resources and staff they need to provide constitutionally adequate conditions of confinement.

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SUICIDE
Legal Standards
Preventing prisoner suicide is one of the most important functions of a detention center. Detention
centers have an obligation to provide reasonable care to prevent suicide if they know or should know
of the prisoner’s risk of suicide.11 Further, the detention center is liable for a prisoner’s suicide if the
detention officer’s act or omission constituted the proximate cause of the suicide.12 Suicidal prisoners
should not be kept in perpetual solitary confinement, and should receive access to outside and
indoor recreation and natural light, as well as interaction with others. Both the Montana Association
of Counties (MACo) and the American Correctional Association (ACA) require that detention centers
implement a suicide prevention and intervention program that is approved by the health authority
and reviewed by the facility or program administrator.13 Adequate programs must include procedures
for handling intake, screening, identifying and continually supervising suicide prone prisoners. The
standards also require that all supervisory staff must be trained annually on program expectations.
The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (“NCCHC”) also requires that detention centers
identify suicidal prisoners and intervene appropriately.14 To comply, detention centers must continuously
observe acutely suicidal prisoners and check on non-acutely suicidal prisoners at least every 15
minutes, but at irregular intervals.15 Staff supervision can never be replaced by prisoner supervision
regardless of the circumstances. NCCHC requires prevention and intervention programs approved by
the health authority. Suicidal prisoners should be housed in suicide resistant rooms and strategies
and services to address the underlying reasons for the suicidal ideation need to be addressed. NCCHC
suggests a staff debriefing in the event of a suicide or attempted suicide.
Suicide in Montana Detention Centers
Suicides are pervasive in Montana detention centers compared to other states. The Department of
Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) reported 14 suicides from 2003 to 2007, and the U.S.
Department of Justice reported 15 from 2001 to 2005. Based on these statistics, Montana averages
three prisoner suicides annually in a state with just 1,000 detention center beds. The Montana Board
of Crime Control reported four suicides in 2011 while Karl Rosston, a suicide prevention coordinator
employed through DPHHS, reported 23 suicides in detention facilities between 2003 and 2009, which
averages to over three a year.16 According to Rosston, prisoners in large detention centers (those with
more than 250 prisoners) were four times more likely than the general population of the state to commit
suicide compared to the U.S. average, while prisoners in small detention centers (those with fewer than
50 beds) were over 15 times more likely to commit suicide than the national general population.17

11

Pretty on Top v. City of Hardin, 182 Mont. 311, 317 (1979).

12

Id.

13

MACo Standard 11.13 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-4C-13. In Montana, the Department of Health and Human Services has
established a suicide prevention program that provides training to local detention centers, free of charge.
http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/amdd/Suicide.aspx
14

NCCHC Standard J-G-05.

15

http://www.ncchc.org/suicide-prevention

16

Karl Rosston, Suicide Prevention in our Jails, Montana Public Department of Health & Human Services (last updated May 2011).
http://www.ncchc.org/suicide-prevention
17

Id.

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While the national suicide rate of prisoners in previous years has declined, Montana’s rate has increased
more than it has declined.18 Prisoners reported many factors contributing to suicidal ideation, including
inadequate mental health care, inadequate monitoring by staff, lack of outdoor recreation, lack of
clothing, loss of dignity, and poor sanitation. More than one respondent described morbid body fluid
stains on the floor from a recent suicide in Yellowstone County, which
reported two suicides there in the a six month period.19

“I tried to commit
suicide here two
times and I’ve
been punished
both times. I’m in
confinement now!”

The Silver Bow County Detention Center responds to suicidal prisoners
in a way that is degrading and can exacerbate their underlying problems.
Prisoners in Silver Bow County are often forced to wear suicide smocks
while in booking and when being re-classified. A suicide smock is a piece
of fabric that covers the front and back of a prisoner but not the sides;
prisoners are entirely nude beneath the fabric. The smocks are intended
–Male Prisoner in Gallatin
County Detention Center
to protect prisoners from themselves when they are suicidal. However,
when they are overused they can be extremely degrading and have
adverse consequences. These smocks are overused in lieu of treatment.
Most of these prisoners need adequate mental health care, rather than a suicide smock or isolation.
Six prisoners committed suicide at the Cascade County Detention Center between 2003 and 2011.20
Rather than re-evaluating their suicide plan, detention officials maintained the same practices until
February of 2012 when a U.S. Marshal Service prisoner committed suicide in their custody.21 In
response, the federal government executed an After Action Review of the detention center to determine
what went wrong. The published report lambasted Cascade County officials for a number of violations
of detention center standards in regard to suicides, including improper housing, supervision, training
and planning which, according to the report, ultimately resulted in a prisoner’s suicide.22 Cascade
County, which is not accredited by the ACA, was not following Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers
Association (MSPOA) Standards and therefore staff were not checking on prisoners once every hour.23
In the past, MSPOA operated a voluntary peer-review program that evaluated compliance with
suggested suicide prevention protocols.24 However, the program and protocols provided almost no
guidance on how to properly screen prisoners and lacked both uniformity between facilities and
accountability of non-compliant detention centers.25 For instance, Cascade County, which had not
followed the program, had six suicides over a three and a half year period, and faced no repercussions.

18

Id.

19

More than one inmate response referenced the two suicides. The questionnaire that referenced the six-month period was
received June 7, 2013.
20

Karl Rosston, Suicide Prevention in our Jails, Montana Public Department of Health & Human Services (last updated May 2011);
Ryan Hall, Fourth death at Cascade County Detention Center in six months, Great Falls Tribune (May 27, 2011).

21

United States Marshal Service, Cascades County Detention Center Great Falls, Montana After Action Review (Suicide)
Feb. 5, 2012 (Feb. 29, 2012).

22

Id

23

Id

24

David S. Niss, 61st MT Legislature Law and Justice Interim Committee, MSPOA Peer Review Program, 10, http://leg.mt.gov/
content/Committees/Interim/2009_2010/Law_and_Justice/Meeting_Documents/June2010/PEER%20REVIEW%20VERSION%203.pdf.
25

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Recently, MSPOA and MACo adopted more comprehensive jail standards and now utilize a more
extensive network of peer-reviewers to evaluate compliance. MACo and the county detention centers
have a shared interest in enforcing the standards because they impact counties’ potential tort liability
and correlate to insurance premiums that counties pay.
Ravalli County, when faced with three prisoner suicides in two months in 2005 called upon the National
Institute of Corrections (NIC) to evaluate their suicide prevention procedures.26 Since adjusting their
procedures to adhere with the NIC’s suggestions they have not had a single prisoner suicide.27 Ravalli
County’s success demonstrates that, with prudent adjustments of detention center policy, including
proper screening, staff training, and supervision, suicides can be prevented.
Recommendations
• Implement more effective procedures to screen prisoners – Prisoners in danger of suicide can be
profiled and screened with relative accuracy. Other states require prisoner screening through a regional
health center with qualified professionals in order to triage and predict risk for suicide, which, in some
states, has resulted in as high as an 80 percent reduction in prisoner suicide.28 Montana should do the
same.
• Adequate training of detention officers – Ensure detention officers are adequately trained, including
Crisis Intervention Training (“CIT”) to more effectively identify prisoners with serious mental illness and
who may be at risk of suicide.
• Implement mandatory statewide policies and procedures with required planning and training and hold
detention centers accountable for noncompliance – Montana needs a statewide mandatory program
that requires an independent party to scrutinize written policies and procedures. If detention centers do
not comply, there must be consequences.
• Improve detention center conditions – Improving overall conditions would be a substantial step in
decreasing prisoner suicides. Limiting or eliminating solitary confinement, improving outdated facilities,
providing adequate amounts of nutritious food, legitimate grievance procedures, providing adequate
mental health care, combating overcrowding, and providing prisoners with consistent access to outdoor
and indoor recreation could curb prisoner suicide rates.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
Legal Standards
Solitary confinement is the confinement of prisoners in cells for 22 to 24 hours a day with minimal
sensory stimuli and little to no social interaction. While often discussed as misused and overused
in the prison corrections context, solitary confinement is misused and overused in county detention

26

Timothy Mitchell, Inmate suicide epidemic Sheriff Chris Hoffman addresses concerns over three inmate deaths in two months,
Ravalli Republic (May 24, 2005).
27

Id.

28

David S. Niss, Montana Law and Justice Interim Committee, No. 4 - Kentucky Jail Mental Health Crisis Network, Issues and
Options, http://leg.mt.gov/content/committees/interim/2007_2008/law_justice/meeting_documents/LJIC%20KENTUCKY%20
PROGRAM%20MEMO.pdf

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centers as well. Solitary confinement is particularly damaging to prisoners with mental illness because
it exacerbates existing illnesses.29 As such, courts require that people vulnerable to the negative
psychological impacts of isolation be excluded from it.30
Numerous national standards prohibit solitary confinement of people with mental illness, including
those of the American Psychiatric Association, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care
(NCCHC), the American Bar Association, the U.S. National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and the
American Correctional Association (ACA). As explained by the ACA, “Total isolation as punishment for a
rule violation is not an acceptable practice.”31
NCCHC standards require that the health of all segregated prisoners’ health be monitored by medical
staff who must inform jail officials when a prisoner’s physical or psychological health is quickly
deteriorating.32 MACo standards require a written policy and procedure governing the management
of prisoners housed in administrative segregation, protective custody, and disciplinary detention.33
Standards mandate segregated housing units provide living conditions that approximate those of the
general prisoner population; segregated prisoners must have similar health care services, a minimum of
an hour of exercise five days a week, access to mail and legal services, and the ability to converse with
and be observed by staff members.
Solitary Confinement in Montana Detention Centers
Solitary confinement, often for prolonged periods of time, is common in Montana detention centers. In
prisons, solitary confinement is usually seen in super-max or maximum security buildings; in Montana
detention centers, however, solitary confinement takes many forms. Newer detention centers are
commonly built with several blocks of isolation cells. Missoula and Cascade Counties have sizeable
isolation blocks, while most other detention centers have anywhere from one to ten isolation cells.
Detention centers reported placing many different types of prisoners in these blocks, including
individuals going through drug or alcohol detoxification or having acute medical or mental health
episodes, transgender prisoners, and young or otherwise vulnerable prisoners. These individuals are
often unable to bond out, and may languish in isolation for many months.
One disturbing trend is the lack of any limits on the amount of time individuals can be isolated. We
identified no county detention center that caps the number of hours or days an individual can be placed
in solitary confinement. As a result, through interviews and questionnaire responses, we identified
individuals who had spent over a year in isolation in county detention centers. In interviews, many
detention center administrators compared solitary confinement to putting a child in “time out.” Many
differences, however, make such a claim inaccurate. Rather than young children being disciplined by
their parents for a few minutes of “time out,” prisoners put in solitary confinement are often isolated
29
Walker v. State, 316 Mont. 103, 68 P.3d 872, 2003 MT 134; https://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/colorado-prisons-continuewarehouse-mentally-ill-solitary-confinement; Metzner and Fellner, Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons: A
Challenge for Medical Ethics, jaapl March 2010 vol. 38 no. 1 104-108
30

Ruiz v. Johnson, 37 F.Supp.2d 885, 914 (S.D. Tex. 1999); Madrid v. Gomez, 889 F.Supp. 1146, 1265-66 (N.D. Cal. 1995); Jones
‘El v. Berge, 164 F.Supp.2d 1096 (W.D. Wis. 2001); Indiana Prot. & Advocacy Serv. v. Comm’r, Indiana Dep’t of Corrections, 2012 WL
6738517 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 31, 2012

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31

ACA Standard for Adult Correctional Institutions (4th ed.) Standard 4-4249.

32

NCCHC Standard J-E-09.

33

MACo Standard 08.01.

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for weeks and months; in addition, many are mentally ill or unstable and the undeniably harsh effects
of isolation for weeks or months on end can have far-reaching consequences, especially if those
individuals are not appropriately monitored.
Given the negative impact of solitary confinement, placement of certain prisoners in solitary
confinement is wholly inappropriate and may violate the U.S. and Montana Constitutions. Prisoners
experiencing detoxification or an acute medical or mental health condition should be in a hospital or in
another in-patient setting rather than solitary confinement in a detention center.
In older detention centers, conditions of the physical plant often result in de facto solitary confinement.
Old brig jails that normally hold a few people sometimes result in individuals being housed in isolation
when only one person is housed in the entire brig; “brig” is a term for jail cells on ships. Many Montana
detention centers use old brigs, plucked off the deck of obsolete war ships, to accommodate the
growing number of prisoners. This disproportionately impacts women, as the female wing of a detention
center is often smaller with fewer prisoners. On several tours, we saw a single woman housed by herself
for extended periods of time; in contrast, many men were housed together in a general population block
in another section of the jail.
Recommendations
• Create and implement policies prohibiting solitary confinement for individuals with serious mental
illness.
• Create and implement policies substantially limiting the length of time people may be placed in
solitary confinement.
• Create and implement policies requiring prisoners in solitary confinement be monitored by medical
and mental health professionals several times a week to ensure their mental health does not
deteriorate.
• Ensure individuals in disciplinary detention or any other form of solitary confinement receive daily
access to indoor and outdoor recreation.
• Ensure prisoners in solitary confinement receive the same visitation, mail and telephone privileges as
those in the general population.

STAFFING
Legal Standards
Detention centers must retain a sufficient number of adequately trained detention staff to ensure
prisoners’ safety and to provide adequate medical and mental health care.34 Understaffing is a very
serious problem that leads to prisoner neglect, increased risk of suicide, physical and sexual assault,
unsanitary conditions, and lack of access to indoor and outdoor exercise and recreation, among other
problems.
ACA and MACo standards require staff who are trained and familiar with the detention centers’ policies
and operation.35 Detention centers must be staffed 24 hours a day with alert employees. Importantly,

34

See e.g., Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559, 573 (10th Cir. 1980) (finding inadequate staffing contributed to prisoner violence and
Eighth Amendment violation); Brown v. Plata, 131 S.Ct. 1910, 1925 (2011).
35

ACA 1-CORE-2A-09.

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staff must be able to perform all functions relating to prisoner security, custody and supervision. If
a detention center houses women, it must have at least one woman on duty at all times. Detention
centers must have a written staff training, development, and evaluation plan coordinated by a qualified
employee. All employees must receive training and orientation under a qualified officer. Within the first
year of employment, all staff must receive Basic Detention Officer training and 40 hours of continuing
training annually.
Both ACA and NCCHC standards require staff to have appropriate credentials and meet medical
standards in the job description. Final clinical judgment must rest with a single designated physician,
who must meet with the detention center administrator quarterly and comply with state and federal
licensure requirements. Personnel who administer prescription medication must be trained.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) requires detention centers to have a PREA coordinator and a
zero-tolerance policy towards sexual assault.36 Detention centers must develop, document, and comply
with a plan that provides adequate staffing and video monitoring.37
Staffing in Montana Detention Centers
We identified several major problems regarding staffing statewide. First, many administrators reported
having understaffed detention centers due to inadequate funding. (See Appendix C.) Second, many
administrators reported using untrained personnel in place of detention center staff, including
dispatchers and deputies. Contrary to established legal standards, many detention centers have no
medical or mental health staff, resulting in an inability to provide adequate medical or mental health
treatment to prisoners. Third, many administrators reported difficulty retaining detention staff.
Understaffing is a statewide problem. The majority of administrators
reported needing more staff, particularly female staff. A wide range of
prisoner-to-staff ratios exists across Montana detention centers. For
example, Broadwater, Fergus, Glacier, Mineral and Sanders Counties all
reported having six full-time detention officers, but their number of beds
varied from 48 (Broadwater) to 30 (Sanders). Beaverhead, Bighorn and
Valley Counties reported having five full-time detention officers, yet Big
Horn (29) and Valley County (26) have approximately twice the number
of beds as Beaverhead (14).
Several counties reported having inadequate detention staff and relying
on untrained law enforcement deputies and 911 dispatchers to monitor
prisoners. Chouteau County’s sheriff reported having only one full-time
detention officer for a jail with 28 beds, and utilizing law enforcement
deputies as detention staff. Similarly, Musselshell County reported
having one full-time detention officer for a 12-bed detention center,

36

“There is only one
jailer employed
(working 5 days
a week and only
at nights during
lockdown). When
he is not there they
are not checked on
at all. When he is
there it is every 30
minutes.”
–Male Prisoner in Chouteau
County Detention Center.

PREA Standard 115.11.

37

“PREA directed the attorney general to promulgate standards for all confinement facilities including, but not limited to, local
jails, police lockups, and juvenile facilities. See 42 U.S.C. § 15609(7). DOJ has promulgated standards for prisons and jails (28
C.F.R. §§ 115.11 – 115.93), lockups (28 C.F.R. §§ 115.111 – 115.193), residential community confinement facilities (28 C.F.R. §§
115.211 – 115.293), and juvenile facilities (28 C.F.R. §§ 115.311 – 115.393).” http://www.prearesourcecenter.org/faq#n1056

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also utilizing law enforcement deputies and dispatch in place of detention staff. Granite, Meagher,
Pondera, Powell and Wheatland Counties reported having no detention officers, but instead solely using
law enforcement deputies and dispatch staff to oversee their detention centers.38 This is a recipe for
disaster as such individuals can be ill-equipped to handle the unique issues that arise in a detention
setting, further giving rise to safety concerns and liability exposure.
Detention staff are often paid less than law enforcement deputies. Detention positions are viewed as a
stepping stone to deputy positions. This reality is unfortunate given the crucial importance of detention
staff. Some administrators also stated that turnover occurs because detention is a “high burnout” job.
Professional staff who are respectful of prisoners are a huge indicator of prisoner satisfaction at a
detention center. The daily interaction between detention staff and prisoners is crucial, and the point
at which counties often incur significant liability for unconstitutional conditions, including use of force
and inadequate medical and mental health treatment. The importance of staff-prisoner interaction
should lead to counties prioritizing well paid and well trained detention officers. Unfortunately, detention
remains an afterthought in many counties throughout Montana.
Recommendations
• Hire an adequate number of detention staff, including female staff.
• Hire qualified medical and mental health professionals to provide services to prisoners.
• Operate detention centers with trained and qualified detention staff 24 hours a day, rather than relying
on dispatch staff or on-duty law enforcement officers.
• Provide training, including crisis intervention training, to detention staff as part of their professional
development.
• Ensure that detention center staff receive wages equal to law enforcement deputies.
• Ensure commissioners and other county officials take interest in day-to-day detention center functions
and emphasize the importance of detention staff.

MEDICAL CARE
Legal Standards
Providing adequate medical services for prisoners is a crucial function for detention centers. Detention
centers often hold prisoners who are suffering acute medical conditions, such as alcohol or substance
withdrawal. Many individuals enter detention centers with illnesses that they are receiving ongoing
treatment for in the community, such as chemotherapy for cancer. Detention centers are on the “front
line” of receiving individuals with acute medical and mental health conditions. Counties could reframe
their thinking to view detention as an opportunity to provide needed medical and mental health services
to members of the community who otherwise may not receive services. Gallatin County reported having
transitioned to this approach. Although it does require increased funding for detention center services, it
concomitantly reduces funding needed for other county social services.
One opportunity to provide medical care and to reduce costs for detention centers is to enroll eligible
inmates in Medicaid. Although Medicaid will not pay benefits for people in custody,39 if the inmate
needs medical care outside the facility requiring inpatient admission then Medicaid will pay those costs
38

Some counties, such as Powell and Pondera, reported that some deputies received detention training.

39

42 U.S. Code § 1396d(a)(27)(A)., known as the “inmate exception” to Medicaid.

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for an enrolled inmate.40 Another significant advantage of enrolling eligible inmates in Medicaid is that
upon release they will have access to health care, including coverage for mental health and substance
abuse counseling.41 This is a benefit to both the individual and to society as it improves the person’s
chances to avoid reoffending.
Detention centers must provide medical services that are “reasonably commensurate with modern
medical science and of a quality acceptable within prudent professional standards” and “reasonably
designed to meet routine and emergency medical, dental and psychological or psychiatric care.”42 If
a prisoner requires care that is not available on-site, the failure to obtain such care is a constitutional
violation.43 Providing care for prisoners generally means paying for the care, given that most prisoners
have limited resources and no medical insurance.44 The fact that needed care is expensive does not
excuse officials from providing it.45
Officials must provide a medical staff that is “competent to examine prisoners and diagnose illnesses”
and “able to treat medical problems or to refer prisoners” to those who can.46 Using unqualified
personnel is a constitutional violation. Non-physician staff, such as nurses and physician’s assistants,
cannot be assigned tasks beyond their training or left without adequate supervision.47 Obsolete
medical equipment and shortages or unavailability of eyeglasses, medication, or prosthetics can also
violate the Constitution.48 In order to provide adequate medical care, officials must have a screening
process to identify prisoners with medical needs and make sure that they are diagnosed and treated.
Prisoners always have the right to communicate their medical problems to detention center medical
staff.49 “Systematic deficiencies in staffing, facilities, or procedures [which] make unnecessary suffering
inevitable” are a constitutional violation,50 as is screening by untrained staff in lieu of a doctor.51
Both MACo and ACA standards require that prisoners have access to a licensed physician or other
health authority and indigent prisoners are not excluded from care based on their inability to pay.52
Detention centers must have written policies and procedures that govern the delivery of medical, dental
and mental health services. The policies must include procedures for screening, emergency and nonemergency services, arrangements for chronic care and supervision, and handling of pharmaceuticals
and infectious diseases. A health appraisal of each prisoner must be provided within 14 days of

40

42 CFR §435.1009. See also County Jails and the Affordable Care Act: Enrolling Eligible Individuals in Health Coverage,
http://www.americanjail.org/county-jails-and-the-affordable-care-act/. A lengthy inmate hospitalization may result in a major
financial obligation for a county that could be avoided with Medicaid coverage.

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http://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/health-insurance/index.html.

42

Fernandez v. U.S., 941 F.2d 1488 (11th Cir. 1991); Tillery v. Owens, 907 F.2d 418 (3d Cir. 1990).

43

Kaminsky v. Rosenblum, 929 F.2d 922, 927 (2d Cir. 1991).

44

Montmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates v. Lanzaro, 834 F.2d 326 (3d Cir. 1987).

45

Harris v. Thigpen, 941 F.2d 1495 (11th Cir. 1991); Monmouth County Corr. Inst. Inmates, 834 F.2d 326 (3d Cir. 1987).

46

Hoptowit v. Ray, 682 F.2d 1237, 1253 (9th Cir. 1982).

47

Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1112 (9th Cir. 1986).

48

Newman v. Ala., 503 F.2d 1320, 1331 (5th Cir. 1974).

49

Hoptowit, 682 F.2d at 1253 (9th Cir. 1982).

50

Todaro v. Ward, 565 F.2d 48, 52 (2d Cir. 1977) (quoting Bishop v. Stoneman, 508 F2d 1224, 1226).

51

Toussaint, 801 F.2d at 1111-12 (9th Cir. 1986).

52

MACo Standards 11.01 and 11.04 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-4C-01.

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arrival unless a similar appraisal has been completed within the previous 90 days. All results must
be compiled into an individual health record or treatment plan. Detention centers must also provide
female prisoners adequate obstetrical services by a qualified provider and adequate provisions of
pregnancy management including pregnancy testing, routine and high-risk prenatal care, management
of chemically addicted pregnant prisoners, appropriate nutrition, and postpartum follow up.
NCCHC standards provide extensive and comprehensive guidelines for all aspects of prisoner health.
NCCHC requires written policies and procedures that are clearly communicated to prisoners upon
arrival53 and that prisoners are adequately screened and receive proper initial health assessments.
Detention centers must also provide prisoners with appropriate medical diets, adequate detoxification,
and pregnancy care, including access to emergency contraception and counseling. In addition,
detention centers must provide adequate care for the terminally ill.
Medical Care in Montana Detention Centers
Detention centers reported a variety of medical services approaches, including contracting with a private
company, such as Spectrum, to provide medical care, contracting with a local nurse and/or doctor, or using
local clinics or hospitals on an as-needed basis. During interviews, many detention center administrators
reported vague and unspecified approaches to providing
medical health care on a case-by-case basis. The ma“I even showed the nursing staff
jority of detention centers charge prisoners for medical
. . . that I need the medications.
care. Some detention center administrators reported
I still have not been given any
difficulties obtaining approval from the DOC prior to promedications I need, it[‘]s been six
viding DOC-sentenced prisoners with medical care.

months and my symptoms are
far more severe than ever. I also
showed them medical records
from a hospital and treatment
center. There is no program to help
with getting my glasses here. I’ve
never been so blind. Somebody
stole my glasses and now I can’t
see. Migraines and mental health
problems plague me every[ ]day.
It feels like unbearable torture.
Please help.”

Prisoner responses regarding medical care painted
an abysmal picture. About 43 percent of responding
prisoners did not feel their medical health needs were
being met. (See Appendix E.) The most consistent
complaint was medical needs were being neglected or
outright ignored. Many prisoners responded that medical issues that demanded immediate attention, such
as spreading rashes, viral infections, and communicable illnesses, were ignored or not properly treated by
medical staff. Prisoners generally reported they do not
see the doctor when they need to, and staff do not take
–Male Prisoner in Yellowstone
their problems seriously. Prisoners also reported nursCounty Detention Center
es and physician’s assistants make medical decisions
that should be made by a physician. Prisoners reported
medical professionals making decisions without first seeing the prisoner. Two prisoners reported that
they were pregnant upon arrival and had miscarriages while incarcerated. One reported being held with
a cellmate with a communicable disease. Another reported having a miscarriage after waiting 60 days
for a doctor visit.54
53

NCCHC Standard J-A-05 and J-E-01.

54

The ACLU of Montana released a report in September 2014 detailing the lack of reproductive health policies in Montana’s jails
that put pregnant women at risk. Titled Reproductive Lockdown: An Examination of Montana Detention Centers and the Treatment
of Pregnant Prisoners, the report can be found at http://aclumontana.org/reproductive-lockdown/.

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The highest percentage of prisoners who reported inadequate medical
care were detained in Missoula and Lake Counties. In Missoula County,
83.3 percent of prisoners reported their medical needs were not being
met, while 58.3 percent of Lake County prisoners reported inadequate
medical care.
Prisoners from across Montana reported inadequate access to
medications. Many reported not being able to afford over-the-counter
pain medications, such as Tylenol or Advil, which cost upwards of
50 cents a pill. Many prisoners reported being forced to go without
prescription medication they needed for medical issues, such as
diabetes, hepatitis C, and prescription pain medications for a broken back.

“While incarcerated
I got some kind of
mersa [MRSA] from
head to toe, it was
severe. Nobody did
a thing.”
–Male Prisoner in Big Horn
County Detention Center

Prisoners consistently reported long wait times to see any medical professionals, especially if the
professionals were not employed on-site. One prisoner in Big Horn County reported not receiving
medical attention in over seven weeks, despite having filled out three different requests for care,
none of which were responded to. Many prisoners reported inadequate treatment, specifically for
dental issues or if their illness or injury required specialized help not offered at the detention center.
Numerous prisoners from both Silver Bow and Cascade Counties reported painful dental conditions
that were ignored or neglected, ranging from pulling their teeth and refusing dentures to ignoring painful
abscessed teeth or advanced decay that exposed nerves. Many prisoners reported poor or non-existent
follow-up care to dental procedures and many who felt that their healthcare was inadequate also
reported an unresponsive medical kite request55 and grievance system.
Recommendations
• Provide to all prisoners adequate and timely care from appropriately-trained medical professionals.
• Take seriously prisoners’ requests for medical care and keep written logs of responses to medical
requests.
• Keep written logs of medical treatment.
• Contract with qualified medical professionals to manage medication and provide adequate medical services.
• Enact a policy with set times by which medical requests will be reviewed by medical professionals.
• Provide needed assistive devices, such as hearing aids, prosthetics and eyeglasses.
• Provide medical care for all prisoners even if they cannot afford it.
• Provide prisoners with adequate addiction treatment, particularly when “detoxing.”
• Provide pregnant prisoners with pregnancy-related care.
• Implement a quality control system to ensure adequate care.
• Assist eligible inmates with enrolling in Medicaid.

MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Legal Standards
Many prisoners in Montana have mental illness, and detention centers have a legal and moral obligation
to provide those prisoners with adequate care. Courts have found various deficiencies in psychiatric
care and treatment of prisoners with mental illness including lack of mental health screening on
55

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intake,56 failure to follow up with prisoners who have known or suspected mental disorders,57 failure
to hospitalize prisoners whose conditions cannot be treated in a detention center,58 gross departures
from professional treatment standards,59 and failure to separate the severely mentally ill from general
population.60 Housing prisoners with mental illness in isolation is unconstitutional;61 use of mental
health seclusion and restraint is restricted to legitimate mental health purposes, closely supervised by a
medical authority, conducted in a humane manner,62 and never used for disciplinary purposes.63 Solitary
confinement or isolation should never be imposed on individuals with mental illness.
Many constitutional violations of prisoner’s mental health care stem from inadequate staffing.
Failure to train staff to deal with prisoners with mental illness can be
unconstitutional,64 as can knowingly tolerating inadequate mental health
“So many people
staff.65 In addition, mental health staff must spend more than mere
are in jail because
“minutes per month” with prisoners with mental illness.66 Courts have
they don’t have
held unconstitutional abrupt discontinuation of prisoners’ psychiatric
67
appropriate
services.
medications. Unconstitutional as well are mental health care systems
It’s just sad.”
that provide care only to prisoners who ask for care, given that many
prisoners with mental illness are incapable of assessing their own
–Yellowstone County
mental health needs.68
Detention Center
Administrator

Both MACo and ACA standards require that prisoners be screened for
mental health issues when they arrive.69 ACA requires that detention
centers have a mental health program and prisoners have access to services as clinically warranted
by the detention center’s health authority, including screening for mental health problems, referral to
outpatient services, intervention and management of acute psychiatric episodes, stabilization of the
mentally ill, prevention of psychiatric deterioration, referral and admission to inpatient facilities, and
informed consent for all treatment. Pharmaceuticals must be managed in accordance with policies and
procedures approved by the health authority—only qualified professionals may dispense and administer
those pharmaceuticals. Prisoners must receive needed psychotropic medications and, if they refuse to
take them, only a physician may authorize involuntary administration.
NCCHC standards require all prisoners receive mental health screening and prisoners with positive
56

Gibson v. County of Washoe, Nev., 290 F.3d 1175, 1189 (9th Cir. 2002).

57

Id.

58

Or. Advocacy Ctr. v. Mink, 322 F.3d 1101, 1121-22 (9th Cir. 2003).

59

Smith v. Jenkins, 919 F.2d 90, 93 (8th Cir. 1990).

60

Gates v. Cook, 376 F.3d 323, 342-43 (5th Cir. 2004).

61

Ruiz v. Estelle, 243 F.3d 941 (5th Cir. 2001).

62

Buckley v. Rogerson, 133 F.3d 1125, 1127-30 (8th Cir. 1998).

63

Nelson v. Heyne, 491 F.2d 352, 356-57 (7th Cir. 1974).

64

Id.

65

Greason v. Kemp, 891 F.2d 829 (11th Cir. 1990).

66

Cabrales v. County of Los Angeles, 864 F.2d 1454, 1461 (9th Cir. 1988).

67

Steel v. Shah, 87 F.2d 1266, 1269-70 (11th Cir. 1996).

68

Coleman v. Wilson, 912 F. Supp. 1282, 1305-06 (E.D. Cal. 1995).

69

MACo Standard 11.10 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-4C-09.

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screens receive an extended mental health evaluation within 14 days of admission.70 Mental health
services must be available to all prisoners who require them, either on site or by a referral to appropriate
alternative facilities. If prisoners require medications, detention centers must meet their needs and
conform to legal requirements.
Mental Health Care in Montana Detention Centers
Detention centers must deal with the realities of our broken and inadequate mental health system.
Many administrators voiced frustration and concern both with the lack of community placement
options for individuals with mental illness and the community expectation that detention centers are
appropriate places for people with mental illness. Some detention administrators reported that local
hospitals resist admitting an arrestee in acute mental health crisis. Many administrators also reported
that local hospitals arrestees with acute mental illness to detention centers prior to the arrestee
stabilizing. Yellowstone County is considering including a mental health unit in future expansion.
While frustrated with the lack of community services, and aware that detention is not a substitute for
a hospital, detention staff acknowledges the need to be realistic about
their continuing obligation to house people with mental illness. Despite
the systemic causes, detention centers are constitutionally obligated to
“You can’t throw
provide adequate mental health care, and should not house prisoners if
someone in jail for
such care cannot be provided.
being crazy.”
–Musselshell County Sheriff
During interviews, administrators generally estimated between 50 and
90 percent of prisoners have mental health issues and between onethird and two-thirds of prisoners take medications for mental illness.
Despite this high percentage of prisoners with mental illness, many Montana detention centers do
not provide adequate mental health services to prisoners. Of the 332 prisoners who responded, 101
(30.4 percent) reported dissatisfaction with the mental health services at their detention center. (See
Appendix F.) A consistent theme was lack of access to trained mental health personnel. Another issue
is that detention centers routinely reported using solitary confinement to house prisoners with mental
illness, despite acknowledging it is not a good option. Numerous detention centers have no contracts in
place to provide regular or as-needed mental health care.

One pervasive statewide trend concerned the distribution and management of psychiatric medications.
Many prisoners identified hurdles to getting
needed medications. Prisoners reported not
“The jail has no mental health staff [. . .]
being able to afford their medication due to
they cut you completely off meds cold
the exorbitant cost of both over-the-counter
turkey, like my anti-psychotic Seroquel
and prescription drugs. In some instances,
and anti-depressant Doxepin. It took two
the prescription medications were for severe
weeks just to get my Seroquel back that
depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
I’ve been on for four years. They take
Many prisoners described how this cost
everyone’s meds regardless of the risk.”
barrier resulted in their stopping or reducing
–Male Prisoner in Lewis and Clark County
their medicine immediately and abruptly upon
Detention Center
entry. Detention centers in rural areas are often
in communities that have no mental health
70

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provider. In smaller communities, detention staff reported familiarity with arrested individuals who may
have mental health issues.
Recommendations
• Provide adequate mental health screening upon entry and treat individuals appropriately.
• Do not use excessive force, restraint, or isolation for prisoners with mental illness.
• Use adequately trained staff to manage prisoners with mental illness and to deal with mental health
crises.
• Make psychiatric medications available and affordable and do not discontinue except on doctor’s
orders.
• Provide adequate mental health care to detainees, either at the detention center or at an off-site
facility.
• Never deny prisoners mental health care because of their inability to pay.
• Implement a functioning communications system that allows prisoners to request and timely receive
mental health care.
• Implement a procedure that includes regular and as needed confidential visits by qualified mental
health professionals.

OVERCROWDING
Legal Standard
Overcrowding accompanied by unsanitary and dangerous conditions is unconstitutional.71 The impact
of overcrowding is exacerbated and likely to violate the Constitution when prisoners have limited time
out of their cell or housing pod.72 Forcing a prisoner to use a floor mattress for “anything other than brief
emergency circumstances,” or more than a few days, or without regard to the length of confinement is
unconstitutional.73
MACo and ACA standards require that prisoners have 35 feet of “unencumbered” floor space per
prisoner in single- and multiple-occupancy cells, which increases to 70 square feet if prisoners are
confined ten hours a day.74 Prisoners should be locked in their cells no more than ten hours a day and
must have access to a dayroom that offers 100 square feet of living space. For dormitories, MACo
requires that detention centers provide 50 square feet of floor space per prisoner, but only if they
participate in out-of-housing-unit activities at least eight hours a day, five days a week. If more than four
people are sleeping in one area, sleeping partitions are required, and prisoners must have access to
toilets and washbasins 24 hours a day.
Overcrowding in Montana Detention Centers
Across the state, some detention centers are routinely operating with populations exceeding those
they were designed to accommodate. Sheriffs and detention administrators across the state are
looking for solutions to overcrowding, including expanding existing facilities, building new ones

71

Harris v. Angelina County Tex., 31 F.3d 331 (5th Cir. 1994).

72

Hubbard v. Taylor, 538 F.3d 229 (3rd Cir. 2008) (allowed extreme crowding in cells where prisoners had access to a dayroom for
14 hours a day); Bell v. Wolfish, 411 U.S. 520 (1973) (mitigating effect of recreation would make a difference in analysis).

73

Union County Jail Inmates v. Di Buono, 713 F.2d 984 (3rd Cir. 1983); Lareau v. Manson, 651 F.2d 96 (2d Cir. 1981).

74

MACo Standard 18.02.01.

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and looking to alternatives to incarceration, including home monitoring. Across Montana, detention
center administrators report overcrowding is a serious issue. In Flathead County, a detention center
originally designed to house 65 prisoners was modified to hold more than 100.75 Butte-Silver Bow
Detention Center was built just ten years ago, but is already regularly turning prisoners away because of
overcrowding issues.76 Roosevelt, Dawson, Lewis and
Clark, Custer, and Yellowstone Counties all reported
[In response to being asked if the
that they are working on jail expansion plans.77 Lake
detention center is overcrowded]
and Flathead Counties are also considering detention
“Yes – in G pod we have 12 cells with
center expansions or new construction.
2 bunks each. For the past 5 months

there has always been a 3rd person

In Yellowstone County, which recently had two
forced to sleep on floor (with no
prisoner suicides, respondents attributed suicides to
boat). After 36 girls – the rest sleep
the deplorable overcrowded conditions. According
in the dayroom
(sans boat).”
to recent news reports, “the Yellowstone County Jail
is built to house 286, yet officials said on any given
–Female Prisoner in Cascade County
day they have anywhere from 375 to 425 inmates.”78
Detention Center
Other reports state “[i]n the first four months of 2013
the average daily population was 437. On April 22 the
jail held 491 inmates.”79 Prisoners in Yellowstone County identified an increased likelihood of fighting
and violence, as well as lack of sanitation and adequate food.
During our 2013 interview and tour of Lewis and Clark
County detention center, administrators reported an
average population of 75-80 for a facility designed
to hold 58 prisoners, with an optimum capacity of
43. During our tour, we observed a prisoner going
through “detox” on a mat in the booking area and five
prisoners sleeping on mats on the floor of the library
in unsafe conditions without immediate access to a
bathroom. We have since been informed the county
no longer houses prisoners in the library.

“I am aware of half the population in
this facility sleep[s] in plastic boats.
I myself have slept in one for over a
year! My back has become a problem
ever since.”
–Male Prisoner in Yellowstone
County Detention Center

Many detention centers are forced to accommodate swelling jail populations by using plastic makeshift
beds called “boats.” At least 12 use boats occasionally, while six use them daily (Big Horn, Cascade,
Dawson, Flathead, Lake, and Yellowstone). Prisoners in the overcrowded detention centers said it was
common for prisoners to sleep on the floor in cells or communal areas, such as the library. Prisoners
consistently reported individual cells were at 125-200 percent capacity. Dawson County reported regular
overcrowding, which creates cramped living conditions that add to prisoners’ frustrations. Dayrooms
75
Tara Oster, “Overcrowding a concern in Lake, Flathead county jails” KPAX, April 30, 2013,
http://www.kpax.com/news/overcrowding-a-concern-in-lake-flathead-county-jails/
76

Grace Ditzler, “Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center overcrowded; misdemeanors may be released” KTVM, Sept. 10, 2013,
http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/buttesilver-bow-detention-center-overcrowded-misdemeanors-may-be-released/21874312

77

Jason Stuart, “Jail Expansion Plans Moving Forward” Ranger Review, March 7, 2014,
http://rangerreview.com/news/jail-expansion-plans-moving-forward.

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78

“Overcrowded Jails”, KULR News, Aug. 21, 2013.

79

“Yellowstone County eyes work program” NBC Montana, May 12, 2013.

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in several detention centers cannot be properly utilized because prisoners sleep on the floor when they
become overcrowded.
Consistent with the increasing numbers of females detained, several detention centers reported
overcrowding of female prisoners, who are generally
housed in smaller areas. Yellowstone County is
“Each pod has 14 cells, two bunks
considering building an expansion for women due to
to a cell. But, every cell has 1 person
the dire overcrowding in its existing detention center.
on the floor at almost all times,
Missoula County reported recently transitioning a
and when the floors are occupied,
pod from males to females given the burgeoning
inmates are placed in the dayroom
female population. The Missoula County Detention
floor. This happens almost every
Administrator reported seeing the recent spike in
week for durations exceeding 2
female prisoners as the most notable increase in
weeks or more.”
prisoner populations he has observed in 20 years.
–Female Prisoner in Cascade
County Detention Center

Prisoners housed in common areas reported having
no access to a toilet overnight and having to ask
other prisoners for permission to use their toilet or sink. One respondent said prisoners who sleep in
the dayroom or library have to “relieve themselves in trash cans, cups, and showers.” Several prisoners
interviewed in overcrowded detention centers reported that tensions between prisoners increased in
overcrowded pods.
If you build it they will come – Larger detention centers are NOT the answer
Many of the largest detention centers in Montana are the most overcrowded. A lesson from this correlation is that larger detention centers will not alleviate overcrowding. Instead, counties must be proactive
in seeking out and implementing options that will keep people from being booked into detention centers
or will shorten the length of time that someone waits in the detention center before trial.
For quality-of-life offenses, such as public drunkenness or disorderly conduct, counties can allow
officers to issue a summons rather than arresting suspects, thereby
decreasing pre-trial detention populations. In many of the most rural
counties with the smallest detention centers, a strong sense of commu“People lying on the
nity and personal knowledge of individuals charged with crimes resulted
floor in dayroom
in successful community monitoring without pre-trial incarceration. In
because there [are]
larger communities, community monitoring can be formalized through
not enough seats,
15
people in a cube
pre-trial diversion programs, bond review procedures, and risk assessdesigned for 8.”
ment to ensure that only individuals who are a threat or flight risk are detained pre-trial. By successfully identifying pre-trial detainees who pose
–Male Prisoner in Big Horn
no threat to others or no flight risk, courts can minimize the number
County Detention Center
of people held pre-trial. Extensive pre-trial release options can include
home confinement, day reporting program, and daytime work release.
Developing bond review procedures allows the court to assess whether individuals who cannot post
bond need to remain detained; if not, the pre-trial populations in detention centers could be decreased.
Counties can also develop alternative sentencing options and encourage judges to utilize them. Innovative alternative sentencing, such as drug, mental health and veterans’ courts, encourages a more rehabil-

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itative rather than punitive focus. Other crimes could be addressed through a restorative justice paradigm
that focuses on repairing harm rather than punishment. For example, Yellowstone County is looking at
out-of-state diversion models, such as work-release programs, to curb future detention populations.
Recommendations
• Develop comprehensive risk assessment instruments and processes to identify candidates for pre-trial release.
• Establish more extensive pre-trial release options - including home confinement, day reporting
program, and daytime work release.
• Develop effective bond review procedures.
• Issue summonses for quality-of-life offenses.
• Further develop alternative sentencing options.

BASIC NECESSITIES OF EXERCISE, FRESH AIR, AND NATURAL LIGHT
Legal Standards
The constitutional right to fresh air and outdoor exercise is well established. Courts hold some form of
“regular outdoor exercise is extremely important to psychological and physical wellbeing,” and long-term
deprivation of outdoor exercise can constitute cruel and unusual punishment.80 Courts have also held
denial of outdoor exercise for prisoners in administrative segregation raised constitutional concerns.81
Only allowing prisoners into a room with a grated window or an open roof in lieu of a true outdoor facility
is inadequate.82
In October, 2013, a federal judge entered a judgment ordering Missoula County Detention Facility to
build outdoor exercise facilities for female, juvenile and segregated prisoners because the deprivation
of outdoor recreation was a violation of both the federal and Montana Constitutions.83 Plaintiffs in the
case reported skin problems, hair loss, depression, problems sleeping, claustrophobia, and panic attacks
resulting from deprivation of fresh air and outdoor exercise. In response, Missoula County adopted a
revised recreation policy that can serve as a model to other Montana counties. (See Appendix V.) The
policy requires access to at least one hour of outside exercise five days a week. The detention center
must supply prisoners with clean and usable coats during inclement weather. Only the detention
administrator may order “no rec” if a prisoner is to be deprived of outdoor exercise. Detention center
staff cannot take away recreation privileges for disciplinary reasons.84
Both MACo and ACA standards require that prisoners have access to exercise and recreation
opportunities outside of the cell at least one hour every day.85 Facilities must provide an indoor exercise
area when extreme weather precludes access to outdoor exercise. Segregated prisoners must have
access to both outdoor and enclosed exercise areas. The detention center must provide prisoners with
appropriate clothing during inclement weather.

80

Johnson v. Woodford, 336 Fed.Appx. 592 2009 WL 1452635 (9th Cir. 2009); Frazer v. Ward, 426 F.Sipp. 1354 (N.D.N.Y. 1977);
Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 112 (9th Cir. 1996); Martine v. Carey, 563 F.Supp. 984 (D. Or. 1983).

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81

Toussaint v. Yockey, 722 F.2d 1490 (9th Cir. 1984).

82

Keenan v. Hall, 83 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 1996).

83

Chief Goes Out v. Missoula County, CV 12-155-M-DWM, 2013 WL 139938 (D. Mont. Jan. 10, 2013).

84

Even inmates in Disciplinary lockdown are entitled to outdoor recreation. See Appendix V.

85

MACo 17.08 and ACA 1-CORE-5C-01.

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Recreation in Montana Detention Centers
Outdoor Exercise
Many Montana detention centers do not allow prisoners to go outside. Of 36 detention centers, 20 do
not provide outdoor exercise.86 Despite the well-established constitutional right to outdoor exercise,
particularly in the Ninth Circuit, every Montana detention center built in the last ten years does not
have an outdoor recreation area.87 Even detention centers with an outdoor recreation area often do not
provide prisoners with regular daily access. Many detention centers do not have a formal recreation
policy, and provided recreation contingent on staffing and weather. When ACLU of Montana staff
toured Rosebud County’s Detention Center, which
does have an outdoor recreation area, they learned
Prisoners’ responses when asked
that prisoners had gone months without outdoor
“How
long has it been since you were
recreation because of staffing shortages.

last outside?”

Big Horn County reported it had an outdoor recreation
area, but prisoners were allowed outside only if it
was 60 degrees or warmer and were not provided
jackets. As a result, 100 percent of prisoners in Big
Horn County responded they did not have access
to outdoor recreation. The average time prisoners
in Big Horn County reported being without outside
recreation was 13.7 weeks. Without adoption and
implementation of a policy providing access, even
prisoners in detention centers with outdoor recreation
are routinely deprived of the right.
In counties without outdoor recreation, many
prisoners have not been outside for months. Several
prisoners have not been outside for over a year.
Prisoners in Sanders, Flathead and Mineral
Counties reported going outside regularly and
receiving appropriate clothing in cold weather. In
addition, Beaverhead County has shown initiative
by constructing a new outdoor recreation facility
attached to its detention center. Fergus County
has begun the process of assuring that prisoners
are allowed outdoor recreation by funding an
architectural design for an outdoor recreation area
and are moving forward in its construction.

“17 months except for court
appearances” and “It has been 1yr-5
months.”
–Silver Bow County

“15 months+”
–Lake County

“13 ½ months”
–Gallatin County

“I haven’t been outside or seen the
outside in 318 days, not even a breath
of the outside.”
–Richland County

“It’s been almost 11 months since I
was last outside”
–Cascade County

“Over 80 days when I went to the
[Doctor] but if you don’t count that it
has been 135 days” and “I have been
outside 5 times for a short walk to
court in 439 days as of today”
–Beaverhead County

86

Beaverhead, Broadwater, Butte-Silverbow, Cascade, Deer Lodge, Fergus, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Hill, Lake, Lincoln, Meagher,
Musselshell, Park, Powder River, Powell, Richland, Toole, and Valley Counties reported not having outdoor exercise areas. Park
County’s response was ambiguous, stating that it did have an outdoor recreation area, but further stating “this is not an outdoor
recreation yard.” Unfortunately, Park County officials were unwilling to speak with the ACLU or provide a tour.
87

Broadwater (2005), Butte (2004), Deer Lodge (2004), Gallatin (2011), Glacier (2008), Richland (2011), and Valley (2011).

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Recommendations
• Provide outdoor recreation for all prisoners for a minimum of one hour per day, five days per week.
• Provide coats and other clothing when weather so requires.
• Do not take away outdoor exercise as a disciplinary measure.
• Ensure that prisoners in isolation receive daily access to outdoor recreation areas.
Indoor Exercise
Most detention centers allow prisoners access to a dayroom for several hours a day. However, access to
a dayroom is not indoor exercise. A dayroom is a central area of detention centers attached to cells with
communal seating and a television or radio. In day rooms, there is generally no room for exercise and
no opportunity to leave the housing area. Conversely, indoor exercise, which prisoners have a right to
access, consists of activities in a gym, weight room or some other facility designed for recreation.
We observed that there is a wide range of what is considered an indoor recreation area. In some cases,
such as Lincoln County, a small library with limited natural light is used as an indoor recreation area.
In others, such as Lake and Gallatin Counties, indoor recreation areas have large windows or skylights
that open to provide fresh air. Several detention centers lack both indoor and outdoor exercise areas,
including Fergus, Granite, Meagher, Musselshell, Powder River, Powell, and Wheatland Counties.88 Some
detention centers, such as Lewis and Clark and Ravalli Counties, have libraries, which provide prisoners
out-of-cell opportunities, but do not provide the opportunity for exercise or fresh air.89 Prisoners’
responses reported the most inadequate access to indoor recreation in Dawson, Fergus, Big Horn,
Rosebud, Park, and Lake Counties.
Recommendations
• Provide prisoners with regular access to indoor exercise.
• Ensure indoor exercise areas have sufficient space to allow for exercise.
• Provide natural light in indoor exercise areas.
• Do not take away indoor recreation as a disciplinary measure.

Natural Light and Lighting Schedule

ACA standards require all rooms and cells provide all prisoners with access to natural light and that
lighting throughout the detention center is “sufficient for the tasks performed.”90 MACo standards
require the same access to lighting in newly constructed or renovated detention centers.91 If prisoners
in the general population are confined to a cell for ten or more hours a day, they must have access to
natural light by means of an opening or window of at least three square feet. In newly constructed
detention centers, even prisoners who spend fewer than ten hours a day in their cell must have that
same access to natural light.

88
It is unclear whether Park County has an indoor recreation area. In response to our request for public information, county
officials stated that the detention center has an indoor recreation area, but stated that it is the same dimension as the cells,
making it ambiguous whether what is referred to is actually a day room. This is particularly likely given the prisoners’ responses
regarding indoor exercise in Park County. Missoula County’s detention center has indoor exercise areas for some housing pods,
but not others.

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90

ACA Standard 1-CORE-1A-09.

91

MaCo Standards 19.03 and 19.04.

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Adequate lighting is an “indispensable aspect of adequate shelter” required
by the Eighth Amendment.92 Prisoners must be able to read from their bunk
for lighting to be sufficient.93 Constant illumination of light can be unconstitutional,94 especially if it is alleged or proven to interfere with sleep.95
Natural Light and Lighting Schedule in
Montana Detention Centers
Several detention centers have limited or no natural light. Prisoners
in eight counties consistently reported inadequate natural light,
including Lake, Park, Lewis and Clark, Beaverhead, Rosebud, Missoula,
Yellowstone, and Ravalli counties. In addition, Powder River County
administrators reported having no natural light in cells or day rooms.
In other counties, there is a wide variety of access to natural light.
Variations include frosted or non-frosted windows, skylights, windows
in some cells and not others, and windows in day rooms but not cells.
Prisoners in some of these counties reported adverse impact on their
mental health. One prisoner reported seeing the sunlight only twice
a month for 15 minutes at a time. Prisoners from several counties,
including Sanders, Dawson, Toole, and Rosebud, reported adequate
access to natural light. (See Appendix I.)
Scheduling of non-natural light is also a problem for many Montana
prisoners. Prisoner responses from several detention centers reported
that lights were left on too long, which negatively impacted their mental
health and ability to sleep. Responses from Lake, Big Horn, Lincoln, and
Cascade counties reported significant problems with light schedules.
Prisoners reported Big Horn County keeps lights on 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. In other counties, prisoners consistently stated that
lights were turned off for only five to seven hours a day.

“I occasionally,
maybe 2 times per
month, have the
opportunity to see
actual light. Fifteen
minutes at one time.”
–Male Prisoner in Park
County Detention Center

“Suicide watch has
lights on 24/7. I was
on this for 3 out of 7
months.”
–Male Prisoner in Cascade
County Detention Center

“They’re always
on which is
psychologically
draining. Plus the
jail would save $ if
the lights weren’t on
all the time
–Male Prisoner in Gallatin
County Detention Center

Recommendations
• Provide prisoners with access to natural light.
• When renovating or constructing detention centers, install adequate windows or openings in every cell.
• Adjust lighting schedules so as not to impede prisoners’ ability to sleep.

OUTDATED FACILITIES AND BRIG JAILS
Many of the detention centers in Montana are old and outdated, which adversely affects prisoner safety,
adequate supervision, fresh air and exercise, natural light, sanitation, plumbing, and other conditions.
Outdated detention centers generally are not in compliance with fire codes, creating a very dangerous

92

Toussaint v. McCarthy, 597 F. Supp. 1388, 1409 (N.D.Cal. 1984), aff’d in part and rev’d in part on other grounds, 801 F.2d 1080
(9th Cir. 1986).

93

Id.

94

Id.

95

Ferguson v. Cape Girardeau County, 88 F.3d 647, 650 (8th Cir. 1996).

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environment for prisoners. Outdated detention centers generally do not have call buttons in cells, are
understaffed, and have limited surveillance. In some cases, prisoners’ only option in an emergency is to
pound on the door and hope someone hears them.
Female prisoners are often disproportionately placed in inadequate portions of the physical plants
in detention centers. Women are often housed in older, smaller sections of detention centers with
inadequate surveillance, smaller dayrooms and less access to recreation areas. For example, during a
December 2012 tour of Lincoln County Detention Center, we observed women in a small and old section
of the detention center with no video surveillance or call buttons. Female prisoners had to bang on
the door in order to get staff’s attention. Meanwhile, male prisoners were housed in the relatively new
section with heightened monitoring. The detention center subsequently informed us the women’s area is
now video monitored. In Musselshell County, women are sometimes held in 24-hour lock down in a tiny,
old holding cell with no window and a non-functioning sink.
At least two counties, Granite and Meagher, operate detention centers built in the late 1800s. In
Musselshell County, prisoners’ dorm and cells are accessible only with an old turnkey, and there is no fire
sprinkler system in the dorm or cells.
At least four detention centers continue to operate using brigs from antiquated warships to house
prisoners.96 Brig jails are essentially small cages. They use antiquated lock and key systems, provide inadequate square footage per prisoner, are difficult to properly monitor, violate fire codes, place prisoners
in serious danger of sexual and physical assault, and provide inadequate sunlight and outdoor exercise.
In Wheatland County, administrators reported prisoners are held in World War II brig cells. The small windowless cells are too old to wire for electricity and, as a result, there is no light in the cells. Wheatland
County has no full-time detention staff, and utilizes on-duty deputies and dispatch staff. Prisoners yell if
they are having an issue in their cells, and hope dispatch can hear them. Dispatch staff is untrained and
not allowed to enter the cells without a deputy present. While the detention center is empty about half
the time, during the other half, prisoners are kept in unsafe conditions without adequate monitoring.
Some detention centers, including Roosevelt and Musselshell Counties, have made changes to existing
brig jails. For example, the cells in Roosevelt County’s “bull pen,” which is an old brig, were so small they
provided only one-fourth of the square footage per prisoner mandated by detention standards. The “bull
pen” consisted of five 42-square-foot bunks housing four people each. Standards require 35 square feet
per prisoner. The 20 prisoners who lived in these extremely cramped conditions all shared one toilet and
shower. There were no lights in these tiny cells. Although the brig is still in use, three bunks for each
cell in the bull pen were cut out in spring 2013, five years after a consultant alerted Roosevelt County to
this deficiency.97 Also in 2013, Musselshell County removed its brig jail completely and replaced it with a
large dormitory room.

96

The Counties are Granite, Meagher, Roosevelt, and Wheatland. We did not tour several smaller detention centers, including those
in Fallon, Powder River, and Park Counties, which may or may not use brig jails. We also did not tour most 72-hour hold facilities,
which may or may not use brig jails. We are aware of at least one 72-hour facility—Liberty County that uses brig jails.
97

In November of 2014, the voters of Roosevelt County approved a bond issue to build a new detention facility.
http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/detention-facilities-on-ballot-in-bakken-region-only-passes/article_
d5bc329a-fc41-55d2-996a-74f05485e98a.html

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Brig jails are dated vestiges of old war ships and they need to be relegated to history. Brig jails violate
human dignity and the Eighth Amendment, which guarantees constitutional conditions of confinement.
The only things they should be used for are storage and as a reminder of dated and unacceptable
methods of confinement.
Recommendations
• Update antiquated and unsafe detention centers to comply with MACo and ACA standards and fire and
sanitation codes.

SANITATION AND PLUMBING
Legal Standards
A sanitary environment is a basic human need that detention centers must provide for every prisoner.98
The Eighth Amendment requires proper cleaning of detention facilities and adequate garbage disposal.99
Detention centers must maintain adequate and operable plumbing that does not risk conveying
waterborne disease or vermin infestation.100 They must provide adequately functioning toilets,101 and
prisoners must have access to them.102 In sanitation cases, courts specifically scrutinize proximity to
human waste in sanitation cases, even if brief in duration.103
Inadequate or excessive heat also violates the Eighth Amendment.104
Both MACo and ACA standards require detention centers to be clean
and in good repair and to control all vermin and pests.105 Detention
centers must have a potable water supply that is certified annually by
an independent source to assure compliance with laws and regulations.
Both standards require that prisoners are given articles (toilet paper,
sanitary napkins, etc.) and services necessary for maintaining personal
hygiene, including access to showers, toilets, and washbasins that
function properly and have temperature controlled water available 24
hours a day. Prisoners must be able to access the toilets 24 hours a day
without staff assistance. Detention centers must provide one toilet for
every 12 male prisoners and one for every eight females.

98

Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080 (9th Cir. 1986).

99

Gates v. Cook, 376 F.3d 323 (5th Cir. 2004); Hoptowit v. Spellman, 752 F.2d 779 (9th Cir. 1985).

100

Benjamin v. Fraser, 343 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 2009); Carty v. Farrelly, 957 F. Supp. 727 (D.V.I. 1997). .

101

Toussaint v. Rushen, 722 F.2d 1490 (9th Cir. 1984).

102

Miller v. King, 384 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2004).

103

DeSpain v. Uphoff, 264 F.3d 965 (10th Cir. 2001); Johnson v. Lewis, 217 F.3d 726 (9th Cir. 2000).

104

Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 304 (1991).

105

MACo Standard 10.02 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-1A-04.

“This jail is filthy
and disgusting.
It[‘]s literally like a
dungeon. There is
visible mold and
grim[e] throughout
the jail. Air is
stagnant and all of
us are stuffy.”
–Male Prisoner in Lake
County Detention Center

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Sanitation and Plumbing Issues in Montana Detention Centers
Prisoners reported severe sanitation and plumbing issues in Big Horn, Hill, Yellowstone and Glacier
Counties, including lack of overall cleanliness, inadequate plumbing, and extensive mold. The three
detention centers in which prisoners reported the fewest
sanitation issues were Park, Gallatin, and Sanders Counties.
(See Appendices K and L.)
“Just a week ago we had two
Many prisoners across the state reported serious ventilation
problems in detention centers, resulting in a complete lack
of fresh air. Of the counties surveyed, 17 had consistent
negative responses regarding poor ventilation and lack
of fresh air. Of those 17, five had particularly low prisoner
satisfaction. Lake County reportedly had the worst
circulation and access to fresh air, followed by Big Horn,
Lincoln, Dawson and Cascade Counties. In these counties,
prisoners reported respiratory health problems resulting
from poor circulation, lack of fresh air, and an abundance of
airborne particulates. Sanders County had the best-reported
ventilation, with high prisoner satisfaction and no real
complaints, followed by Glacier and Mineral Counties.
Related to ventilation, many prisoners reported unreasonably cold detention centers. Twelve of the county detention
centers elicited such complaints. Responses were largely
unfavorable from prisoners in Big Horn, Glacier, Lincoln,
Missoula, and Toole Counties. (See Appendix H.) Interestingly, in the questions addressing whether detention centers
were too hot, not a single county had consistent negative
responses, which suggests that prisoners are not arbitrarily
complaining about temperatures and that consistent concerns about cold detention centers are likely valid.

large floods in which black
water came out of our showers
and toilets[.] [W]e were exposed
to it for 5 hours and the water
also came into our cells.
Our sinks don’t have water
pressure, barely any water
comes out of our sinks.”
–Male Prisoner in Yellowstone County
Detention Center

“I have been here for over a
year and I [have] not seen any
air filter changed in our pod.
There’s mold in our showers,
cells, and pod ceiling. I now
have to take allergy pills
because I now have breathing
problems.”
–Male Prisoner in Yellowstone County
Detention Center

Prisoners from five counties consistently reported the
“Whenever the neighbor cell
presence of mold, and many reported developing respiratory
flushes
his toilet, toilet paper
106
problems. (See Appendix L.) Additionally, 13 counties—
and
fecal
matter come into my
including Beaverhead, Big Horn, Cascade, Fergus, Flathead,
toilet. It[‘]s disgusting.”
Lewis and Clark, Missoula, Park, Ravalli, Roosevelt, Rosebud,
Toole, and Yellowstone—had discernible trends in prisoner
–Male Prisoner in Gallatin County
Detention Center
responses indicating that mold was an issue. Based on
prisoner responses, the detention centers with the fewest
apparent issues with mold were Glacier, Richland, Gallatin, and Silver Bow Counties.
Prisoner responses from 13 counties had consistent complaints about plumbing. (See Appendix K.) In
more than one detention center, prisoners described that when a neighbor flushed a toilet, their toilets
106

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would overflow and human waste would spill across the cell floor. In Glacier County, prisoners reported
having to share a toilet among numerous prisoners, greatly reducing their accessibility. Prisoners also
explained that water levels in toilets were so low that sewer gases were frequently leaking into the cells.
Recommendations
• Comply with state sanitation and plumbing standards.
• Regularly clean entire detention center with an adequate cleaning
process and document compliance with standards.
• Schedule and document sanitarian inspections and timely address concerns.

LAUNDRY AND CLOTHING
Legal Standards
Failure to provide necessary clothing is a deprivation of a basic need and thus constitutes cruel and
unusual punishment.107 ACA standards require facilities to have “written policy, procedure, and practice
[that] provide for the issue of suitable clothing to all inmates.”108 The comment explains that a “standard
wardrobe should be provided at the time of admission, and should include, as appropriate, shirts,
blouses, dresses, trousers, skirts, belts, undergarments, slips, socks, coats, jackets and headwear.
In addition to the standard issue of prisoner clothing, civilian attire should be available in limited
quantities for leisure, visiting, work release, and furloughs.” Pre-trial detainees have the right to wear
civilian clothes to criminal trials109 and detention centers must provide civilian clothing to indigent
defendants.110
Prisoners are entitled to clothing that is clean111 and maintained with “adequate laundry facilities.”112 ACA
requires that prisoner clothing be exchanged and laundered at least twice a week; MACo requires weekly
exchanges. Detention centers must issue clothing that is properly fitted and suitable for the climate.
In addition, both MACo and ACA standards require that prisoners be provided “suitable [and] clean”
bedding and linens that are exchanged and laundered at least weekly.113 MACo requires that blankets are
laundered at least monthly and before they are reissued to a new prisoner.
Laundry and Clothing in Montana Detention Centers
Several detention centers violate legal standards by not providing prisoners with adequate clothing.
Beaverhead, Big Horn, Cascade, Lake, Lincoln, Meagher, Musselshell, Park, Pondera, Powder River,
Roosevelt and Wheatland Counties do not provide prisoners with any undergarments or socks. Richland
County reported it did not provide underwear, but did provide bras and socks. Toole County reported
it did not provide or allow bras or socks. Yellowstone County reported it did not provide socks. Not

107

Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994).

108

ACA Standard 4-4336.

109

Estelle v. Williams, 425 U.S. 501 (1976).

110

Felts v. Estelle, 875 F.2d 785 (9th Cir. 1989).

111

Shannon v. Graves, 257 F.3d 1164 (10th Cir. 2001).

112

Divers v. Dep’t of Corr., 921 F.2d 191 (8th Cir. 1989).

113

MACo Standard 10.08 and ACA standard 1-CORE-4B-01.

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surprisingly, prisoner responses from several of these detention centers
had discernable negative trends regarding clothing, with Cascade
County having the lowest prisoner satisfaction by a substantial margin.
One respondent from Cascade County stated that prisoners in the
detention center hope that when other prisoners leave, they themselves
can take the departing prisoners’ undergarments because they are in
such short supply and most prisoners can’t afford to purchase them.
Not only is it unconstitutional to deprive prisoners of undergarments
and socks, it also has practical problems. Depriving women of bras
can result in medical issues for women who need them and robs
incarcerated women of dignity. Depriving prisoners of undergarments
also creates sanitation issues. Given the large number of detention
centers that prisoners report are cold, deprivation of socks is
unacceptable. Allowing outside undergarments and socks is not an
answer to this issue, as there are safety and security risks with nonuniform clothing in a detention center; tube socks, for example, can
lead to suicide. One administrator reported that a prisoner brought in
contraband through boxer briefs with a pocket in them.

“You get 1 shirt 1
pants every 7-9
days. We don’t get
socks or underwear
so if you don’t have
money you pretty
much freeze. They
wash personals once
a week. You never
get new blankets or
able to wash them.
I’ve been here since
December 7th 2012
and then never
washed or gave me a
new blanket yet and
today is April 26th
2013.”
–Male Prisoner in Cascade

County Detention Center
Lack of adequate undergarments is an issue despite the fact that many
prisoners are DOC-sentenced and awaiting placement or incarcerated
for DOC parole violations. Montana DOC policy requires DOC detention
centers to provide “appropriate” clothing to newly admitted prisoners, which DOC has interpreted to include bras, socks and underwear, inasmuch as it provides these items to all prisoners in its facilities.114
Some of these detention centers sell undergarments through the commissary, which is little help to
most indigent pre-trial detainees. Many detention centers in rural areas rely heavily on family to bring
in undergarments for prisoners, and do not maintain an adequate supply of clothing. Seven counties
scored notably low in response to our questionnaire regarding clothing and laundry. The questionnaire
addressed both quality of clothing, and whether or not an adequate amount was provided, including
querying if prisoners did not have enough money to purchase clothing.

In regard to adequacy of clothing, Gallatin, Lake, and Lincoln Counties had the lowest scores. (See
Appendix N.) For clothing cleanliness and quality, which took into account quality of clothing and
detention center laundry procedures, Flathead County had the lowest score, followed by Cascade,
Big Horn, and Lake Counties. (See Appendix M.) An overall metric that measured overall adequacy
of laundry and clothing had Cascade as the lowest scoring county, followed by Lake, Big Horn, and
Yellowstone Counties.
Three detention centers had better prisoner responses indicating adequate clothing and laundry,
including Mineral, Lincoln, and Sanders Counties. Prisoners reported they are provided clean clothes
when they arrive, and are given clothing, including undergarments, even if they cannot afford it.

114

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Montana Department of Corrections Policy 4.4.1E.

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Recommendations
• As a matter of course, provide all prisoners with undergarments, including underwear, bras, and socks
without charge.
• Provide new clothing when existing clothing wears out.
• Adequately launder clothing several times a week and blankets weekly.

VISITATION
Legal Standards
Detention Centers may not permanently revoke a prisoner’s visitation rights or allow visiting in an
arbitrary or discriminatory manner.115 Courts have intervened where county detention centers provided
limited visiting opportunities or imposed oppressive conditions.116 Prisoners are afforded extra
protection in their ability to visit with legal counsel because it is associated with their right to access the
courts.117 A prisoner’s rights are violated if their visits with counsel are “arbitrarily abridged” or limited.118
Courts have struck down sweeping prohibitions of children visiting as well as visitation rules that bar
same-sex visitation or displays of affection.119 As explained by one court, a “ban on child visitation is
an excessive response to the limited risk presented by child visitation in these particular facilities, and
therefore not reasonably related to a legitimate governmental objective, influenced as we are by the
fundamental nature of the rights between parent and child and the interest of the state in maintaining
that delicate relationship.”120
MACo standards require that every detention center have a written policy and procedure governing visits
and to make special arrangements when a visit cannot “reasonably coincide” with regular hours.121
Detention centers must provide a secure and suitable area for prisoners and visitors to converse
at regular voice levels. ACA standards require that the number of visitors a prisoner may receive
and the length of the visits be limited only by the detention center’s schedule, space, and personnel
constraints.122 Any policies that deny visits or require visitors to be searched must be defined in writing.
Detention Centers are also required to provide prisoners with adequate opportunities to meet
confidentially with attorneys and clergy, including meeting at times other than regular visiting hours.
Montana law protects prisoners’ right to visit alone and in private with any practicing attorney in the
state whom they so desire alone and in private.123 Case law establishes that the right to communicate
with lawyers is not limited to those formally represented by an attorney, but also for “prisoners
115
Overton v. Bazzetta, 539 US 126, 137 (2003); Lee v. Crossroads Correctional Center, 312 Mont. 522 (2002); Thorne v. Jones, 765
F.2d 1270 (5th Cir. 1985).
116

Morrow v. Harwell, 768 F.2d 619 (5th Cir. 1985).

117

Bounds v. Smith, 430 US 817 (1977); Ching v. Lewis 895 F.2d 608 (9th Cir. 1990).

118

Ching v. Lewis, 895 F.2d 608, 610 (9th Cir. 1990).

119

Id.; Whitmire v. State of Arizona, 298 F.3d 1134 (9th Cir. 2002).

120

In re Smith, 112 Cal.App.3d 956, 169 Cal. Rptr. 564, 570 (Cal.App.2 Dist. 1980). See also Buie v. Fones, 717 F.2d 925, 929 (4th
Cir. 1983) (concurring opinion) (“. . . [T]hose who operate detention facilities, whether in the form of local jails or prisons, should be
aware that the absolute prohibition on visitation by a detainee’s minor children . . . is almost certainly unconstitutional.”)

121

MACo Standards 14.10 & 14.14.

122

ACA Standard 1-CORE-5B-01.

123

Mont. Code Ann. § 37-61-418

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seeking any form of legal advice or assistance.”124 Detention centers may never restrict prisoners from
communicating with counsel of record in criminal cases125 or legal staff of prisoners’ rights groups and
other advocacy organizations.126 Prisoners’ First Amendment right to consult an attorney for legal advice
“protects the right of an individual or group to consult with an attorney on any legal matter.”127 Detention
centers may not adopt policies that prevent contact visits with attorneys.128
Visitation in Montana Detention Centers
Every county detention center in Montana allows for visitation either two or three days a week; sessions
last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. In some cases, detention centers in Montana lack formal
visiting policies, have inadequate visiting areas, and have broken phones for non-contact visits. Although
the detention centers allow for visitation, some limit prisoners’ ability to visit with minors or people
outside of their immediate family. Based on prisoner responses, six counties (Beaverhead, Cascade,
Dawson, Fergus, Lewis and Clark, and Rosebud) had scores indicative of sub-par performance. (See
Appendix P.) Fergus County had the lowest score by a substantial margin; this correlates with its prior
policy prohibiting prisoners from visiting children or people who are not in their immediate family. That
policy has now been changed to allow visits from children.129
Several detention centers provide prisoners adequate access to friends and family. Toole County
prisoners responded most positively to questions regarding visitation, followed by Sanders, Mineral,
Jefferson and Big Horn Counties. Of these detention centers, most allowed visitation three times a week,
while Toole County allows visitation every day.
Recommendations
• Adopt and implement visiting policy that provides regularly scheduled visits and as-needed visits.
• Ensure confidential visitation with clergy and legal representatives.
• Allow visitation with children and non-immediate family members.
• Ensure adequate visiting space with physical plant conditions, including functioning phones.
• Keep written log of any denials of visitation and reasons for denial.

MAIL AND PHONE COMMUNICATION
Legal Standards
Prisoners have a First Amendment right to communicate by both mail and phone,130 and ACA and MACo
standards require that detention centers have written policies and procedures that govern prisoner
communication.131
124

Ruiz v. Estelle, 503 F. Supp. 1265, 1372 (S.D.Tex. 1980), aff’d in pertinent part, rev’d on other grounds 679 F.2d 1115, 1153-55
(5th Cir. 1982).

125

Id.

126

Abel v. Miller, 824 F.2d 1522 (7th Cir. 1987); Jean v. Nelson, 711 F.2d 1455, 1508-09 (11th Cir. 1982), on rehearing, 727 F.2d 957
(11th Cir. 1984) (en banc), rev’d on other grounds, 472 U.S. 846 (1985); Dreher v. Sielaff, 636 F.2d 1141, 1145 (7th Cir. 1980).

127

Denius v. Dunlap, 209 F.3d 944, 954 (7th Cir. 2000).

128

Ching v. Lews, 895 F.2nd 608, 610 (9th Cir. 1990; Office of the State Public Defender v. McMeekin, 354 Mont. 130, 224 P. 3d 616,
2009 MT 439
129

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Fergus County has adopted the MACo jail standard on this issue.

130

Morrison v. Hall, 261 F.3d 896 (9th Cir. 2001); Johnson v. State of Cal., 207 F.3d 650 (9th Cir. 2000).

131

MACo Standards 14.02 and 14.07 and ACA Standards 1-CORE-5B-02 and 1-CORE-5B-03.

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Outgoing mail has a greater expectation of privacy than incoming mail, and searches are allowed only if
“necessary or essential.”132 Detention centers may not prohibit prisoners from writing religious leaders.133
ACA and MACo standards protect prisoners’ rights to send and receive mail from courts, counsel, and
officials of confining authority and detention center officials may not censor letters or punish prisoners
who criticize prison conditions or personnel.134 Mail to and from attorneys, courts, paralegals, and legal
organizations may not be read in the ordinary course of detention center routines, as the right to such
correspondence is constitutionally protected.135 Standards and case law maintain that prisoners must
know when mail is rejected, and receive a “reasonable opportunity to protest” and refer a complaint
to someone other than the censor.136 Privileged mail may be searched for contraband, but only in the
presence of the prisoner.137
Courts have held there is a constitutional right to prompt mail delivery,138 and any impediment or
restriction on these rights must be supported by a clearly articulated penological justification.139
Core jail standards and courts maintain that if a prisoner is indigent, s/he must be provided pen
and paper to draft legal documents and funds for both notary services and stamps.140 Policies
requiring indigent prisoners to choose between personal hygiene supplies and legal supplies are
“unacceptable.”141
Standards require that prisoners be provided an opportunity to make telephone calls and maintain
family ties. Prisoners must be afforded the opportunity to communicate via telephone with their
attorney. New prisoners are allowed at least one call during the admission process and must be assisted
in notifying people of their detainment.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently took a long overdue step by implementing regulations
limiting exorbitant pricing of interstate phone calls in American prisons and detention centers.
Previously, the cost of a 15-minute interstate phone call averaged as much as $17. The regulation
aimed to make the price of calls “just, reasonable, and fair.” The regulations include an interim rate
cap at 21 cents per minute for debit and pre-paid calls, 25 cents per minute for collect calls and “safeharbor” rates of 12 cents and 14 cents per minute, respectively. These regulations reduce the cost of a
15-minute phone call from $17 to $2-$3.142 Similar caps and reforms are sorely needed in Montana for
intra-state calls from detention centers and prisons.

132

Thornburg v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401, 408 (1989); Barrett v. Belleque, 544 F.3d 1060, 1062 (9th Cir. 2008).

133

Walker v. Blackwell, 411 F.2d 23 (5th Cir. 1959).

134

MACo Standard 14.04 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-5B-02. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974).

135

Kaufman v. McCaughtry, 419 F.3d 678 (7th Cir.2005); Reneer v. Sewell, 975 F.2d 258 (5th Cir. 1992).

136

Wheel v. U.S., 640 F.2d 1116 (9th Cir. 1981); Procunier, 416 U.S. at 418.

137

Royse v. Super. Ct. of State of Wash., 779 F.2d 573 (9th Cir. 1986).

138

Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568 (7th Cir. 2000).

139

Smith v. Erickson, 961 F.2d 1387 (8th Cir. 1992).

140

Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817 (1977).

141

Gluth v. Kangas, 951 F.2d 1504 (9th Cir. 1991).

142

Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services, 78 Fed. Reg. 219 (May 31, 2013) (to be codified at 47 C.F.R. pt. 64).

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Mail and Phone Communication in Montana Detention Centers
Many detention centers charge exorbitant rates for prisoner phone calls. One prisoner reported paying
$2.95 for a local call and $15 for long distance calls, in addition to a surcharge, resulting in a $25 cost
for a phone call to his family. In one Montana detention center, a private phone provider charges $3.95
per transaction per phone number even to put money on an account. Then, it charges a $4.95 connection fee per call. Once connected, prisoners are charged 88 cents a minute if the call is out of state.
Prisoners report this lack of phone access results in alienation from a support system and that makes
rehabilitation and re-entry into society more difficult. Several prisoners also reported mail to and from
the ACLU of Montana was held for inordinately long periods of time and, in some cases, was never delivered.
Recommendations
• Deliver all mail to prisoners in a timely manner and never censor mail involving attorneys or advocacy groups.
• Notify prisoners when mail is withheld or delayed.
• Regulate exorbitant pricing schemes for jail telephone calls.

LAW LIBRARY ACCESS
Legal Standards
Detention centers must provide adequate law libraries or legal assistance to prisoners.143 This includes
giving prisoners the capability of “bringing challenges to sentences or conditions of confinement
before the courts.”144 In general, physical access to a law library is required.145 A library alone, however,
does not provide adequate legal access to prisoners who are illiterate, poorly educated, or non-Englishspeaking.146 If prisoners who are segregated from the general population are denied physical access
to a library, they must receive additional assistance from a legally trained person or be provided legal
materials.147
MACo and ACA standards require all prisoners have access to library services, and that a qualified staff
member coordinate and supervise the library services.148 There must be written policy, procedures,
and practices that provide prisoners with reasonable access to legal materials if there is not free legal
assistance with criminal matters. Prisoners are also required to have reasonable access to paper and
other supplies or services that are related to legal matters.
Law Libraries in Montana Detention Centers
Many prisoners reported inadequate access to legal materials or counsel. Some detention centers, such
as Dawson, Broadwater and Powder River reported having no law library whatsoever. The administrators
at each of these detention centers stated that if a prisoner has a specific statute or regulation s/he
wants to view, staff will pull it up on the computer and give it to her/him. This approach assumes that
every prisoner knows the provision s/he would like to review and it omits, for instance, treatises or case
law from a prisoner’s research options.

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143

Bounds v. Smith, 430 US 817 (1977); Leeds v. Watson, 630 F.2d 674 (9th Cir. 1980).

144

Lewis v. Casey, 518 US 343 (1996).

145

Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080 (1986).

146

Lindquist v. Idaho State Board of Correction, 776 F.2d 851 (9th Cir. 1985).

147

Toussaint v. McCarthy, 926 F.2d 800 (9th Cir. 1991); Wood v. Housewright, 900 F.2d 1332 (9th Cir. 1990).

148

MACo Standard 17.09 and ACA Standards 1-CORE-5C-04 and 1-CORE-6A-03.

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The majority of detention centers have only one hard copy set of
Montana Code Annotated, which is often outdated. With the exception
of Missoula, Cascade, Yellowstone, and Gallatin Counties, counties
had no online legal research database available. In Fergus County, the
“law library” consisted of outdated codes and a 20-year old Black’s Law
Dictionary.149
Problematically, Missoula, Lincoln and Cascade Counties reported they
do not provide prisoners access to a law library if they are represented
by a criminal defense attorney or public defender. Several prisoners
at Gallatin County also reported the detention center gives priority
access to self-represented prisoners, resulting in limited or no access
for represented prisoners. The flaw in this approach is that public
defenders generally do not have the time or resources to research
conditions issues, such as access to adequate mental health treatment.
Further, an underfunded public defender system means already overextended public defenders often do not have the capacity to provide
timely assistance. Regardless, even with regard to legal representation,
prisoners have the right to conduct independent research.

“It can take a person
several weeks or
months to get law
books and then
you have to return
them in one week.
Whereas I have
been trying to get
MCA Book #4 and
#7 for the past three
months, still can’t
get it. I even asked
for your help and
can’t get it, the
[w]hole system
needs help.”
–Male Prisoner in
Yellowstone County
Detention Center

Many prisoners reported waiting months between requesting a law book
and actually receiving it, only to find that the copy they received was outdated. Prisoner responses from
six counties (Big Horn, Cascade, Dawson, Lincoln, Missoula and Rosebud) reported extremely limited
access to both legal books and a law library. (See Appendix Q.) Many detention centers scored very low
on access to law libraries, but with considerably higher scores in regard to prisoners’ access to legal
books and materials (Broadwater, Hill, Richland and Yellowstone).
In Cascade County, many prisoners grieved the complete lack of legal materials and a law library. In
response, administrators gave the same denial verbatim, telling the prisoners, “You have the ability
to contact a public defender, use a regular kite.” Prisoners reported having the most access to legal
materials and a law library in Toole and Jefferson Counties, followed by Beaverhead, Flathead and
Mineral Counties.
Recommendation
• Ensure access to law library for all prisoners, whether represented or pro se, including current statutes,
treatises on criminal law and detention conditions, and any other relevant legal information.

FOOD
Legal Standards
Montana detention centers have a statutory obligation to provide prisoners with “necessary food,
clothing, and bedding.”150 Food is a basic necessity of life that is protected by the Eighth Amendment,

149

Fergus County is working to create an improved law library.

150

Mont. Code Ann. § 7-32-2205.

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and must be “adequate to maintain health.”151 Any deprivation of food can violate the Eighth Amendment
and can be construed as a “form of corporal punishment.”152 The deprivation of “essential food,”
even for a brief period of time, may be a constitutional violation.153 Detention centers are obliged to
maintain the prisoner health, and a diet causing “notable weight loss and mildly diminished health”
is unconstitutional.154 If prisoners have unique dietary needs confirmed by a medical professional,
detention centers have a constitutional obligation to comply.155 Ignoring or not taking these needs
seriously violates the Constitution.156
MACo and ACA Standards require that a nutritionist or dietician review detention centers’ dietary
allowances at least annually to ensure compliance with nutrition needs of appropriate age groups.157
NCCHC standards also require detention centers to provide medical diets that enhance patients’ health
and modify them when necessary to meet clinical conditions.158 Food service staff must conduct
quarterly evaluations to verify adherence to the daily serving requirements. Therapeutic and special
diets, if approved by a local dietician or the facility administrator for either medical or religious reasons,
must be followed. Detention centers must maintain records of all meals served as well as the results of
semi-annual sanitation inspections by a qualified health officer.
Detention centers must serve three meals, including two hot, every 24-hour period, with no more than 14
hours between dinner and breakfast. The facility administrator, food service personnel, or an employee
who is familiar with food service sanitation requirements, must conduct a daily inspection of food
service areas and equipment. Food should never be withheld from prisoners as a disciplinary action.
Food in Montana Detention Centers
Our investigation revealed food, including a grievance procedure for meals, is an issue in which
improvements and effort by detention center staff go
a very long way toward prisoner morale. Adequate
“I’m starving!!! I came in jail under
portions and quality food, including fresh and healthy
weight by 4 pounds and I’ve been
food, are of paramount importance to prisoners. Food
here 5 weeks and lost another 12
service options include using in-house kitchens, the
pounds and still losing weight!
kitchen facilities of nearby hospitals or assisted living
That is the number one reason and
centers, or contracting with a private company to
problem in the jail is that the food is
provide food.
very little and we go to bed hungry.
Based on prisoner responses, half of the detention
centers had discernable trends suggesting there was
some problem with the food. Negative responses

The variety is very little.”

–Male Prisoner in Silver Bow County Detention
Center

151

Keenan v. Hall, 83 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 1996).

152

Reed v. McBride, 178 F.3d 849 (7th Cir. 1999); Cooper v. Sheriff, Lubbock County, Tex., 929 F.2d 1078 (5th Cir. 1991).

153

Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981); Green v. Johnson, 977 F.2d 1383 (10th Cir. 1992); Woods v. Thieret, 903 F.2d
1080 (7th Cir. 1990).

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154

Hazen v. Paslet, 768 F.2d 226 (8th Cir. 1985).

155

Sellers v. Henman, 41 F.3d 1100 (7th Cir. 1994).

156

Lolli v. County of Orange, 351 F.3d 410 (9th Cir. 2003).

157

MACo Standard 9.03 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-4A-01.

158

NCCHC Standard J-F-02.

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consistently focused on either unsanitary preparation or lack of nutrition and diversity. The presence
of foreign objects in the food was noted in several facilities, as was a complete lack of fresh fruits and
vegetables. Perhaps the most egregious example of the lack of fresh food is Musselshell County, in
which all meals are microwaved and pre-packaged.
Prisoners were not hesitant to commend good quality food in their responses. Several detention centers
received positive feedback about the food from prisoners, while one facility—Sanders County—stood
out as offering exemplary food and food service. Not only did Sanders County score high on statistical
measures, but one of the prisoners commended the staff and Sanders County for the high quality of
food, as well as for going “above and beyond to help inmates.” Fergus, Mineral, Park, and Toole Counties
all received positive feedback about the food, both in regard to quantity and quality.
The most consistent negative reporting trend related to the amount
of food. (See Appendix R.) The five counties that scored the lowest in
“If a person is
quantity of food were Silver Bow, Glacier, Cascade, Richland, and Big
allergic to a food
item, the inmate is
Horn Counties. In detention centers with consistent negative reporting
either forced to go
from prisoners, prisoners reported being provided insufficient amounts
without
or is forced
of food, going to bed hungry and generally not being adequately fed.
to
eat
the
item, the
Others explained staff were unwilling to cooperate with prisoners’ unique
jail does not offer a
dietary needs. One respondent said that if a prisoner is allergic to a food,
substitute.”
s/he is told either to eat it or go without. Many respondents reported
relying on the commissary to supplement meager rations, a luxury that
–Male Prisoner in Lewis
and Clark County
not all pre-trial detainees can afford and that is not available in several
Detention Center
smaller detention centers. In Yellowstone County, prisoners reported
that the same company provided meals and ran the commissary; the
majority speculated that providing low quantities of food was an effort to increase commissary revenue.
Eight counties had large numbers of prisoners reporting inadequate food overall, including Glacier,
Silver Bow, Cascade, Big Horn, Richland, Lake, Yellowstone and Lincoln counties. Of these eight, Big
Horn, Cascade, Glacier and Silver Bow Counties had scores that were considerably lower regarding a
combined metric that considered both variety and quantity of food. (See Appendices R and S.) In regard
to variety, many of the same counties appeared to be inadequate. Big Horn County scored significantly
lower than any of its counterparts, followed by Glacier, Lake, Cascade and Richland Counties. Sanders
County again scored substantially better than any other county in the state. (See Appendix T.)
Recommendations
• Regularly provide appropriate amounts of nutritionally adequate food, including fresh fruits and
vegetables.
• Conduct annual nutritional reviews by a dietician.
• Meet medical and religious dietary needs.
• Provide an adequate amount of fruit and vegetable servings.
• Conduct regular kitchen inspections.

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GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Legal Standards
Prisoner grievances filed through an official procedure are constitutionally protected by the First
Amendment.159 The First Amendment protects prisoners from retaliation stemming from their exercising
their freedom of speech through filing grievances.160
Exhausting the applicable grievance procedure is a prerequisite for prisoners to bring a federal claim
regarding confinement. The process begins with an initial complaint or grievance from a prisoner, which
a staff member then reviews. Most grievances receive a rubber-stamp rejection, sometimes leaving the
prisoner with the option to appeal. All grievances should have at least one level of appeal. For a prisoner
to be able to effectively exhaust the process and qualify for a federal suit, appeal forms must be made
available to them. Prisoners must be given a reasonable amount of time to appeal.
Many detention centers are able to quash viable federal claims by making appeals forms inaccessible
and giving prisoners an unreasonably short time to file the appeal. If the prisoner does not appeal on
time, s/he would not be able to bring a claim in federal court, regardless of the merits of the complaint
or egregiousness of conditions.
An effective grievance procedure requires staff who timely address the grievance and investigate
reported problems. A good grievance system opens communication between staff and prisoners and
encourages the detention centers to operate safely and fairly.
Both MACo and ACA standards require that detention centers provide prisoners with a grievance
procedure that includes at least one level of appeal.161 The NCCHC standards also require a grievance
mechanism to address prisoners’ complaints about health services.162
Grievance Procedures in Montana Detention Centers
Most Montana detention centers have grievance procedures and a good
grievance procedure goes a long way toward improving prisoner morale.
Most prisoners, however, see many grievance procedures as futile and
meaningless. Reports from prisoners from almost every detention center
cited a grievance system that never resulted in tangible results. With the
exception of the strong praise for Sanders County, grievance procedures
across the state appear seriously ineffective. The result is a large group
of prisoners who become disillusioned not only with the grievance
procedure, but the detention center as a whole. This skepticism
creates chasms between the prisoners and the detention staff that
likely increase hostility between the two groups and diminishes
communication and cooperation that would enable the detention center
to operate more effectively.
159

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Hoskins v. Lanear, 395 F.3d 372 (7th Cir. 2005) (per curiam).

160

Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574 (1998); Farrow v. West, 320 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 2003).

161

MACo Standard 12.02 and ACA Standard 1-CORE-6B-01.

162

NCHCC Standard J-A-11.

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“All there is, is
a piece of paper
like this one, you
fill it out and it
disappears, no
responses, no record,
no copy, gone, like it
never happened.”
–Male Prisoner in Richland
County Detention Center

According to prisoners, most detention centers do not respond to the
majority of grievances. Prisoner responses demonstrate six counties—
Broadwater, Cascade, Lake, Lincoln, Missoula, and Richland—fall below
the already low bar set by other detention centers in the state, with
Cascade County having the worst grievance system in the state, by a
considerable margin. (See Appendix U.) Very few counties have effective
grievance procedures. However, Sanders County ranked significantly
higher than all other counties. When asked if he had filed a grievance
before, one prisoner from Sanders County responded, “No, no need!”
Prisoners across Montana echoed the sentiment about the grievance
procedures. The vast majority did not receive timely responses, while
many did not receive a response at all. Twenty-four detention centers
had discernable trends in prisoner feedback suggesting the grievance
procedure is illusory and that staff do not take seriously prisoners’
complaints. Other prisoners voiced concerns about being punished or
put in solitary confinement if they used the grievance process. Many
prisoners pointed out the obvious problems of writing a grievance that is
read and reviewed by members of detention center staff.
Recommendations
• Implement adequate and functional grievance procedures.
• Never threaten punishment or actually punish prisoners for grieving.
• Develop effective appeals procedures and inform prisoners of them.

[In response to
being asked if he
is satisfied with
the grievance
procedure] “No –
[the officer] doesn’t
care[,] he turns down
everyone.”
–Male Prisoner in Cascade
County Detention Center

“The entire system
is a sick joke a
grievance system
ran by those you
grieve – good luck.”
–Male Prisoner in Ravalli
County Detention Center

CONCLUSION
Montana’s jails are in crisis. Our county jails face many of the same issues that detention centers
across the country experience. Under-funded and inadequate facilities are forced to grapple with
unmanageably large populations for decades. Outdated facilities, inadequate staff, overcrowding,
insufficient medical and mental health care, and criminal justice policies geared towards mass
incarceration are common to county corrections nationwide. The consequences of these factors can be
devastating to individuals and costly to society. Rather than identifying and treating health problems,
including mental health and addiction, and providing detainees with the care they need, our detention
centers operate as warehouses not only for those convicted of crimes, but also for pre-trial detainees
who are presumed to be “innocent until proven guilty.”
In addition to improving conditions and care for prisoners, counties have an opportunity to rethink the
role of detention centers as simply a place to warehouse prisoners. Many of the problems that plague
county detention centers are associated with too many prisoners being housed because they cannot afford bail. Counties across the state could benefit from a more effective pre-release risk assessment process and a more responsive bail system. By being more judicious about which individuals they choose
to detain, counties could save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Further, by adopting
innovative approaches to criminal justice, counties could decrease recidivism by shifting to a treatment
modality for certain populations and crimes which improves public safety in the community as a whole.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

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39

Across the state, many prisoners in county detention centers report inadequate medical and mental
health care. Medicine was inaccessible to many and, in some instances, health care appeared to
be woefully inadequate. With a high percentage of prisoners suffering from mental illness,163 the
consequences and dangers of inadequate mental health care cannot be overstated. The prevalence of
mental illness among prisoners, paired with the barbaric use of solitary confinement in many detention
centers, can have devastating results.
Another trend is a complete lack not only of outdoor exercise, but even sunlight and fresh air. Prisoners
across the state reported being kept inside for months at a time, in some cases even more than a year.
Some prisoners reported they are unable to see natural light through a window or breathe any fresh air
for extended periods of time.
Based on prisoner responses, almost every detention center in Montana has an illusory and ineffective
grievance system. Most prisoners who report grievances never receive a response, and those who do
receive responses typically get a rubber stamp rejection of their requests. This creates a further divide
between prisoners and staff, and fosters deep resentment in prisoners.
While detention centers in Montana’s rural and urban areas share many of the same problems, each
also has unique challenges. In the most rural areas of Montana, detention centers’ physical plants are
woefully inadequate, including faulty plumbing, excessive mold, and antiquated infrastructure that
jeopardizes prisoner safety. In addition, many rural detention centers have insufficient detention staff,
particularly female staff. Outdated physical designs, coupled with lack of staff, makes supervision
challenging and puts prisoners in danger of suicide or attack by another prisoner. Lengths of stays in
rural jails are generally much shorter, however, and there is less overcrowding in these facilities.
In Montana’s more populated areas, a variety of issues were seen, including inadequate staffing
and deprivation of basic necessities. Many medium and larger detention centers in Montana are
dangerously overcrowded. The largest detention centers tend to be the most overcrowded, suggesting
that continuing to build ever-larger detention centers is not a solution to swelling pre-trial populations.
Instead, the time is ripe for Montana counties to look closely at pre-trial detention alternatives, such as
work-release programs and community monitoring.
The phenomenal cost of the criminal justice system has taken its toll on all levels of governance. In
many ways, county detention centers bear the brunt of the inefficacies of the justice system. Given the
financial constraints many counties experience, meaningful detention center and criminal justice reform
are not only morally justifiable, but also financially necessary.

163

Steadman, H. J., Osher, F.C., and Robbins, P.C., et al., “Prevalence of Serious Mental Illness among Jail Inmates,” Psychiatric
Services 60, (June 2009). See also Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report September 2006, Mental Health Problems of Prison
and Jail Inmates, http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=789

40

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Montana’s Jails in Crisis

APPENDIX A
APPENDIX A
PRISONER
QUESTIONAIRE
PRISONER QUESTIONAIRE

62

	
   Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American

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42

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63	
  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

64	
  

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43

44

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65	
  

66	
  

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46

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Montana’s Jails in Crisis

67	
  

APPENDIX B
APPENDIX B
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
AND METHODOLOGIES
SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND METHODOLOGIES

	
  	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Broadwater	
  
Cascade	
  
Chouteau	
  
Dawson	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Fallon	
  
Fergus	
  
Flathead	
  
Gallatin	
  
Glacier	
  
Granite	
  
Hill	
  	
  
Jefferson	
  
Lake	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Lincoln	
  
Meagher	
  
Mineral	
  
Missoula	
  
Musselshell	
  
Park	
  
Pondera	
  
Powder	
  River	
  
Powell	
  
Ravalli	
  
Richland	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Rosebud	
  
Sanders	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Toole	
  
Valley	
  
Wheatland	
  
Yellowstone	
  

Questionnaire	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  

Responses	
  
5	
  
10	
  
13	
  
19	
  
2	
  
16	
  
4	
  
2	
  
14	
  
17	
  
30	
  
7	
  
	
  
3	
  
6	
  
12	
  
21	
  
5	
  
	
  
4	
  
18	
  
1	
  
7	
  
	
  
	
  
3	
  
19	
  
12	
  
4	
  
7	
  
11	
  
22	
  
6	
  
3	
  
	
  
27	
  

68

Meeting	
  
In	
  person	
  
Phone	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
Phone	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
Phone	
  
In	
  person	
  
Public	
  Info	
  Request	
  
In	
  person	
  
Phone	
  
Public	
  Info	
  Request	
  
In	
  person	
  
Phone	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  
In	
  person	
  	
  

The American	
   Civil Liberties Union of Montana

Tour	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  
	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  
X	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
X	
  
X	
  

|

aclumontana.org

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47

APPENDIX C

APPENDIX C
DETENTION CENTER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
DETENTION CENTER BACKGROUND INFORMATION

County

164

	
  

Facility	
  

#	
  of	
  Beds	
  

#	
  of	
  Staff	
  

Year	
  Built	
  

Beaverhead	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

14	
  

5*	
  

1975	
  

Big	
  Horn	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

29	
  

5	
  

1980	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Blaine	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

48	
  

6*	
  

2005	
  

Carbon	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Carter	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Cascade	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

220	
  

88**	
  

1998	
  

Chouteau	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

28	
  

1*	
  

1986	
  

Custer	
  

72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Daniels	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Dawson	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

28	
  

36**	
  

1998	
  

Deer	
  Lodge	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

32	
  

N/A	
  

2004	
  

Broadwater	
  

Fallon	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

12	
  

8	
  

1975,	
  
Remodeled	
  ‘85	
  

Fergus	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

38	
  

6,	
  1	
  part-­‐time	
  

1976	
  

Flathead	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

87	
  

27*	
  

1987	
  

Gallatin	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

180	
  

36	
  

2011	
  

Garfield	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Glacier	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

24	
  

6	
  

2008	
  

72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Granite	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

10	
  

None	
  

1893	
  

Hill	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

79	
  

10,	
  4	
  part-­‐time	
  

1999	
  

Jefferson	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

21	
  

4,	
  5	
  part-­‐time*	
  

1986	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

46	
  

20	
  

1974	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

58	
  

25	
  

1985	
  

Liberty	
  

72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Lincoln	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

25	
  

8	
  

1970s,	
  1980	
  

Golden	
  Valley	
  

Judith	
  Basin	
  
Lake	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  
Clark	
  

Madison	
  

72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  -­‐	
  	
  

	
  

	
  -­‐	
  	
  

	
  

	
  -­‐	
  	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
164

	
  *-­‐	
  indicates	
  detention	
  centers	
  that	
  utilize	
  Sheriff’s	
  department	
  staff	
  (either	
  deputies	
  or	
  dispatchers)	
  to	
  supplement	
  the	
  detention	
  staff	
  or	
  
operate	
  the	
  detention	
  center	
  
**	
  -­‐	
  indicates	
  detention	
  centers	
  that	
  also	
  operate	
  as	
  regional	
  detention	
  facilities,	
  so	
  the	
  number	
  of	
  staff	
  is	
  for	
  both	
  a	
  county	
  side	
  and	
  state	
  side	
  
of	
  the	
  detention	
  center	
  

69	
  

48

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Montana’s Jails in Crisis

County	
  

#	
  of	
  Beds	
  

#	
  of	
  Staff	
  

Year	
  Built	
  

McCone	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

-­‐	
  

Meagher	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

5	
  

0*	
  

1890s	
  

Mineral	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

County	
  

	
  

Facility	
  

Missoula	
  
McCone	
  
Musselshell	
  
Meagher	
  
Park	
  
Mineral	
  
Petroleum	
  
Missoula	
  
Phillips	
  
Musselshell	
  
Pondera	
  
Park	
  
Powder	
  River	
  
Petroleum	
  
Powell	
  
Phillips	
  
Prairie	
  
Pondera	
  
Ravalli	
  
Powder	
  River	
  
Richland	
  
Powell	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Prairie	
  
Rosebud	
  
Ravalli	
  
Sanders	
  
Richland	
  
Sheridan	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Rosebud	
  
Stillwater	
  
Sanders	
  
Sweet	
  Grass	
  
Sheridan	
  
Teton	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Toole	
  
Stillwater	
  
Treasure	
  
Sweet	
  Grass	
  
Valley	
  
Teton	
  
Wheatland	
  
Toole	
  
Wibaux	
  
Treasure	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Valley	
  
Wheatland	
  
Wibaux	
  
Yellowstone	
  

27	
  

6	
  

#	
  of	
  Beds	
  
212	
  
-­‐	
  
12	
  
5	
  
20	
  
27	
  
-­‐	
  
212	
  
-­‐	
  
12	
  
13	
  
20	
  
16	
  
-­‐	
  
31	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
13	
  
77	
  
16	
  
26	
  
31	
  
17	
  
-­‐	
  
26	
  
77	
  
30	
  
26	
  
-­‐	
  
17	
  
75	
  
26	
  
-­‐	
  
30	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
75	
  
10	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
26	
  
-­‐	
  
6	
  
10	
  

77**	
  
-­‐	
  
1*	
  
0*	
  
8,	
  2	
  part-­‐time	
  
6	
  
-­‐	
  
77**	
  
-­‐	
  
1*	
  
0*	
  
8,	
  2	
  part-­‐time	
  
0*	
  
-­‐	
  
0*	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
0*	
  
20	
  
0*	
  
8	
  
0*	
  
N/A	
  
-­‐	
  
N/A	
  
20	
  
6	
  
8	
  
-­‐	
  
N/A	
  
27	
  
N/A	
  
-­‐	
  
6	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
27	
  
2*	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
5,	
  4	
  part-­‐time	
  
-­‐	
  
0*	
  
2*	
  

1999	
  
-­‐	
  
1923	
  
1890s	
  
1976	
  
1994	
  
-­‐	
  
1999	
  
-­‐	
  
1923	
  
Remodeled	
  1980s	
  
1976	
  
1977	
  
-­‐	
  
1978	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
Remodeled	
  1980s	
  
1995	
  
1977	
  
2011	
  
1978	
  
N/A	
  
-­‐	
  
1978	
  
1995	
  
1979	
  
2011	
  
-­‐	
  
N/A	
  
2004	
  
1978	
  
-­‐	
  
1979	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
2004	
  
1976	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
-­‐	
  
2011	
  
-­‐	
  
1971	
  
1976	
  

No	
  
No	
  D
Detention	
  
etention	
  C
Center	
  
enter	
  

	
  -­‐	
  -­‐	
  	
  

Detention	
  
Detention	
  C
Center	
  
enter	
  

	
  -­‐	
  -­‐	
  	
  
482	
  
26	
  

86	
  
5,	
  4	
  part-­‐time	
  

	
  -­‐	
  -­‐	
  	
  
1987	
  
2011	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

6	
  

0*	
  

1971	
  

No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  

	
  -­‐	
  	
  

	
  -­‐	
  	
  

	
  -­‐	
  	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  

482	
  

86	
  

1987	
  

Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  
72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
No	
  Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
72-­‐Hour	
  Hold	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  
Detention	
  Center	
  

#	
  of	
  Staff	
  

1994	
  

Facility	
  

Year	
  Built	
  

	
  

1

	
  *-­‐	
  indicates	
  detention	
  centers	
  that	
  utilize	
  Sheriff’s	
  department	
  staff	
  (either	
  deputies	
  or	
  dispatchers)	
  to	
  supplement	
  the	
  detention	
  staff	
  or	
  
operate	
  the	
  detention	
  center	
  
**	
  -­‐	
  indicates	
  detention	
  centers	
  that	
  also	
  operate	
  as	
  regional	
  detention	
  facilities,	
  so	
  the	
  number	
  of	
  staff	
  is	
  for	
  both	
  a	
  county	
  side	
  and	
  state	
  side	
  
of	
  the	
  detention	
  center
1

	
  *-­‐	
  indicates	
  detention	
  centers	
  that	
  utilize	
  Sheriff’s	
  department	
  staff	
  (either	
  deputies	
  or	
  dispatchers)	
  to	
  supplement	
  the	
  detention	
  staff	
  or	
  
operate	
  the	
  detention	
  center	
  
**	
  -­‐	
  indicates	
  detention	
  centers	
  that	
  also	
  operate	
  as	
  regional	
  detention	
  facilities,	
  so	
  the	
  number	
  of	
  staff	
  is	
  for	
  both	
  a	
  county	
  side	
  and	
  state	
  side	
  
of	
  the	
  detention	
  center

70	
  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

|

aclumontana.org

|

49

APPENDIX D
APPENDIX D

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoners'	
  Perceived	
  Safety	
  
Sanders	
  
Toole	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Mineral	
  
Jefferson	
  
Gallawn	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Broadwater	
  
Glacier	
  
Park	
  
Richland	
  
Flathead	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Dawson	
  
Lincoln	
  
Ravalli	
  
Rosebud	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Lake	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Missoula	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Cascade	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Fergus	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Prisoners’ perceived safety was calculated using two statements (I feel safe in my cell; I feel
safe in the day room). Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5),
and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated
NOTE:
Prisoners’
perceivedmean
safetyfor
was
calculated
using two
statements
(I feel safe in my cell; I feel
to determine
a composite
prisoners’
perceived
safety
as a whole.
safe in the day room). Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5),
and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to
determine a composite mean for prisoners’ perceived safety as a whole.

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APPENDIX E
ADEQUACYAPPENDIX
OF MEDICAL
CARE
E
ADEQUACY OF MEDICAL CARE

County	
  

Missoula	
  
Lake	
  
Flathead	
  
Cascade	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Dawson	
  
Gallatin	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Broadwater	
  
Richland	
  
Rosebud	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  
Clark	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Lincoln	
  
Ravalli	
  

%	
  of	
  
treated	
  
prisoners	
  
unsatisfied	
  
w/	
  
medical	
  
care	
  
83.3	
  
58.3	
  
52.9	
  
52.6	
  
50	
  
50	
  
50	
  
50	
  
50	
  
46.2	
  
42.9	
  
42.9	
  
42.9	
  
40.7	
  
40	
  
36.8	
  

%	
  of	
  
treated	
  
prisoners	
  
unsatisfied	
  
County	
  
w/	
  
medical	
  
care	
  
33.3	
  
Valley	
  
33.3	
  
Jefferson	
  
30.8	
  
Fergus	
  
25	
  
Mineral	
  
20	
  
Beaverhead	
  
18.2	
  
Sanders	
  
16.7	
  
Toole	
  
14.3	
  
Glacier	
  
14.3	
  
Park	
  
0	
  
Chouteau	
  
0	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
0	
  
Fallon	
  
Hill	
  
Musselshell	
  
Powell	
  
State	
  Wide	
  

0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
43.1%	
  

NOTE: After responding “yes” to being seen by medical health staff in a detention center, prisoners
were asked whether they were satisfied with their mental care. Those who responded “no” were
considered “unsatisfied.”

NOTE: After responding “yes” to being seen by medical health staff in a detention center, prisoners were
asked whether they were satisfied with their mental care. Those who responded “no” were considered
“unsatisfied.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

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51

APPENDIX F
ADEQUACY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
APPENDIX F
ADEQUACY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

County	
  

%	
  of	
  treated	
  
prisoners	
  
unsatisfied	
  
w/	
  mental	
  
health	
  care	
  

Missoula	
  
Lincoln	
  
Flathead	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  
Clark	
  
Cascade	
  
Fergus	
  
Gallatin	
  
Jefferson	
  
Broadwater	
  
Richland	
  
Rosebud	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Ravalli	
  
Dawson	
  
Mineral	
  

County	
  

66	
  
60	
  
52.9	
  
40.7	
  

Sanders	
  
Toole	
  
Lake	
  
Glacier	
  

38.1	
  
36.8	
  
35.7	
  
33.3	
  
33.3	
  
30.8	
  
28.6	
  
28.6	
  
27.3	
  
26.3	
  
25	
  
25	
  

Park	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Chouteau	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Fallon	
  
Valley	
  
Hill	
  
Musselshell	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Powell	
  
State	
  wide	
  

%	
  of	
  treated	
  
prisoners	
  
unsatisfied	
  
w/	
  mental	
  
health	
  care	
  
18.2	
  
16.7	
  
16.7	
  
14.3	
  
14.3	
  
10	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
0	
  
30.4%	
  

NOTE: After responding “yes” to being seen by mental health staff in a detention center, prisoners
were asked whether they were satisfied with their mental health care. Those who responded “no”
were considered “unsatisfied.”

NOTE: After responding “yes” to being seen by mental health staff in a detention center, prisoners
were asked whether they were satisfied with their mental health care. Those who responded “no” were
considered “unsatisfied.”

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APPENDIX G
APPENDIX G

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Reported	
  Absence	
  of	
  Fresh	
  Air	
  
Mineral	
  
Jefferson	
  
Sanders	
  
Richland	
  
Glacier	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Fergus	
  
Gallawn	
  
Broadwater	
  
Rosebud	
  
Ravalli	
  
Toole	
  
Missoula	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Park	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Flathead	
  
Cascade	
  
Dawson	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Lincoln	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Lake	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Reported Absence of Fresh Air was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one statement
(“The jail is very stuffy and there is not enough fresh air.”). Prisoners chose one of the five
aforementioned responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A
mean was calculated to determine average response for each detention center and the counties’
NOTE: Reported Absence of Fresh Air was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one statement (“The
scores were ranked with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most
jail
is very stuffy and there is not enough fresh air.”). Prisoners chose one of the five aforementioned
adequate at the top.
responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was
calculated
to determine average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores were ranked
	
  
with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate at the top.
	
  

74

	
   Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American

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53

APPENDIX H
APPENDIX H

Reported	
  Cold	
  DetenTon	
  Centers	
  
	
  Best	
  

Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Sanders	
  
Lake	
  
Rosebud	
  
Gallawn	
  

	
  

Beaverhead	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Park	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Jefferson	
  
Richland	
  
	
  

Mineral	
  
Flathead	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Dawson	
  

	
  

Powell	
  
Broadwater	
  
Ravalli	
  
Fergus	
  
Missoula	
  
	
  

Roosevelt	
  
Lincoln	
  
Toole	
  

Worst

Big	
  Horn	
  
Glacier	
  
Cascade	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

	
  	
  	
  Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Cold Detention Centers was calculated using two statements (“It is often too cold in my cell;
it is often too cold in the entire jail.”) Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1,
strongly agree – 5) and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the
means
wasDetention
calculated
to determine
a composite
mean
to determine(“It
how
cold atoo
facility
is.my cell; it
NOTE:
Cold
Centers
was calculated
using
two statements
is often
cold in

is often too cold in the entire jail.”) Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly
agree – 5) and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was
calculated to determine a composite mean to determine how cold a facility is.

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75	
  

APPENDIX I
APPENDIX I

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Reported	
  Access	
  to	
  Natural	
  Light	
  
Sanders	
  
Dawson	
  
Toole	
  
Rosebud	
  
Fergus	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Mineral	
  
Glacier	
  
Flathead	
  
Broadwater	
  
Jefferson	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Cascade	
  
Gallawn	
  
Missoula	
  
Richland	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Ravalli	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Lincoln	
  
Park	
  
Lake	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Reported Access to Natural Light was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one statement
(“I see an adequate amount of natural light while I am in my cell.”). Prisoners chose one of the five
responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was
calculated to determine the average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores were
ranked with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate at
the top.
NOTE: Reported Access to Natural Light was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one statement (“I
see an adequate amount of natural light while I am in my cell.”). Prisoners chose one of the five responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was calculated to
determine the average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores were ranked with the
least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate at the top.

76

	
   Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American

|

aclumontana.org

|

55

APPENDIX J
APPENDIX J

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  SaTsfacTon	
  w/	
  Light	
  
Scheduling	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Rosebud	
  
Dawson	
  
Glacier	
  
Lake	
  
Fergus	
  
Missoula	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Lincoln	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Mineral	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Park	
  
Gallawn	
  
Broadwater	
  
Jefferson	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Richland	
  
Cascade	
  
Ravalli	
  
Flathead	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Toole	
  
Sanders	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Prisoner Satisfaction w/ Light Scheduling was calculated using two statements (“There is
enough lighting in my room to read or write; the scheduling of lighting in the jail is consistent and
fair.”).Prisoner
Each response
was scored
from
1-5 (Strongly
disagree – using
1, strongly
agree – 5) and
a mean
was
NOTE:
Satisfaction
w/ Light
Scheduling
was calculated
two statements
(“There
is enough
determined
for
each
county
for
each
question.
A
mean
of
the
means
was
calculated
to
determine
a
lighting in my room to read or write; the scheduling of lighting in the jail is consistent and fair.”). Each
composite
mean
for prisoners’
satisfaction
with lighting
in the
facility
a whole.
response
was
scored
from 1-5 (Strongly
disagree
– 1, strongly
agree
– 5)asand
a mean was determined for

each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a composite mean for
prisoners’ satisfaction with lighting in the facility as a whole.

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77	
  

APPENDIX K
APPENDIX K

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  Reported	
  Adequate	
  
Plumbing	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Toole	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Sanders	
  
Rosebud	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Richland	
  
Ravalli	
  
Park	
  
Missoula	
  
Mineral	
  
Lincoln	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Lake	
  
Gallawn	
  
Jefferson	
  
Glacier	
  
Flathead	
  
Fergus	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Dawson	
  
Cascade	
  
Broadwater	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Prisoner Reported Adequate Plumbing was calculated using four statements (“The toilet in
my cell
functions
and rarely
has problems;
in my cell
functions
and rarely(“The
has problems;
NOTE:
Prisoner
Reported
Adequate
PlumbingThe
wassink
calculated
using
four statements
toilet in myI
have
access
to
a
working
sink
and
toilet
in
my
room;
When
I
shower,
the
water
temperature
cell functions and rarely has problems; The sink in my cell functions and rarely has problems; I is
have
good.”).
Each
response
was
scored
from
1-5
(Strongly
disagree
–
1,
strongly
agree
–
5)
and
a
mean
access to a working sink and toilet in my room; When I shower, the water temperature is good.”). Each
was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine
response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean was determined for
a composite mean for prisoners’ satisfaction with plumbing in the different facilities.
each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a composite mean for
prisoners’ satisfaction with plumbing in the different facilities.

78	
  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

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aclumontana.org

|

57

APPENDIX L
APPENDIX L

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Reported	
  Mold	
  
Gallawn	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Richland	
  
Glacier	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Mineral	
  
Broadwater	
  
Missoula	
  
Dawson	
  
Jefferson	
  
Flathead	
  
Ravalli	
  
Park	
  
Sanders	
  
Cascade	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Fergus	
  
Rosebud	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Toole	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Lake	
  
Lincoln	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Reported Mold was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one statement (“There is visible
mold in or around my cell.”). Prisoners chose one of the five responses, which were valued from 1-5
(Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was calculated to determine average response for
each detention center and the counties’ scores were ranked with the least adequate detention center
at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate at the top.

NOTE: Reported Mold was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one statement (“There is visible mold
in	
   or around my cell.”). Prisoners chose one of the five responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly
disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was calculated to determine average response for each
	
  
detention center and the counties’ scores were ranked with the least adequate detention center at the
bottom of the chart and the most adequate at the top.

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79	
  

APPENDIX M
APPENDIX M

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  SaTsfacTon	
  with	
  Laundry	
  
and	
  Clothing	
  
Sanders	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Rosebud	
  
Gallawn	
  
Mineral	
  
Lincoln	
  
Richland	
  
Flathead	
  
Glacier	
  
Broadwater	
  
Jefferson	
  
Dawson	
  
Park	
  
Fergus	
  
Ravalli	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Powell	
  
Toole	
  
Missoula	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Lake	
  
Cascade	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  	
  
NOTE: Prisoner Satisfaction with Laundry and Clothing was calculated using four statements
(“Clean clothing is provided to me at the jail; the jail has supplied me with enough clothing; the
clothing the jail has given me is in decent shape; I receive adequate clothing even if I do not have the
NOTE: Prisoner Satisfaction with Laundry and Clothing was calculated using four statements (“Clean
money.”). Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean
clothing is provided to me at the jail; the jail has supplied me with enough clothing; the clothing the jail
was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine
has given me is in decent shape; I receive adequate clothing even if I do not have the money.”). Each
a composite mean for prisoners’ overall satisfaction with clothing and laundry.
response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean was determined for
each
	
   county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a composite mean for
prisoners’ overall satisfaction with clothing and laundry.

	
  

80

	
   Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American

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aclumontana.org

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59

APPENDIX N
APPENDIX N

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Provided	
  Adequate	
  Amount	
  of	
  Clothing	
  
Ravalli	
  
Toole	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Flathead	
  
Musselshell	
  
Jefferson	
  
Mineral	
  
Missoula	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Glacier	
  
Fergus	
  
Park	
  
Broadwater	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Dawson	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Hill	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Cascade	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Flathead	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Richland	
  
Rosebud	
  
Sanders	
  
Lincoln	
  
Lake	
  
Gallawn	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  	
  

NOTE: Provided Adequate Amount of Clothing was calculated using two statements (“The jail has
supplied me with enough clothing; I receive adequate clothing even if I do not have the money.”).
Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean was
determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a
NOTE:
Provided
Adequate
Amount
Clothingofwas
calculated
using
statements
(“The
jail has
composite
mean
to evaluate
theof
adequacy
clothing
provided
totwo
prisoners
in each
facility.
supplied me with enough clothing; I receive adequate clothing even if I do not have the money.”). Each
response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean was determined for
each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a composite mean to
evaluate the adequacy of clothing provided to prisoners in each facility.

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81	
  

APPENDIX O
APPENDIX O

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Clothing	
  Cleanliness	
  and	
  Quality	
  
Sanders	
  
Richland	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Broadwater	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Lincoln	
  
Mineral	
  
Musselshell	
  
Gallawn	
  
Park	
  
Jefferson	
  
Flathead	
  
Fergus	
  
Hill	
  
Glacier	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Dawson	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Ravalli	
  
Toole	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Rosebud	
  
Missoula	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Lake	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Cascade	
  
Flathead	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  	
  

NOTE: Provided Clothing Cleanliness and Quality was calculated using three statements (“Clean
clothing is provided to me at the jail; the clothing the jail has given me is in decent shape; the jail
offers consistently to wash my clothing.”). Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1,
strongly
agreeClothing
– 5) andCleanliness
a mean was
determined
forcalculated
each county
for three
each question.
A mean
of clothing
the
NOTE:
Provided
and
Quality was
using
statements
(“Clean
means
was
calculated
to
determine
a
composite
mean
to
evaluate
the
quality
and
cleanliness
of
is provided to me at the jail; the clothing the jail has given me is in decent shape; the jail offers consisclothing
provided
to prisoners.
tently
to wash
my clothing.”).
Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree

– 5) and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated
to determine a composite mean to evaluate the quality and cleanliness of clothing provided to prisoners.

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APPENDIX P
APPENDIX P

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  Reported	
  SatsifacTon	
  with	
  
VisitaTon	
  	
  
Toole	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Sanders	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Mineral	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Jefferson	
  
Richland	
  
Gallawn	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Lincoln	
  
Flathead	
  
Park	
  
Broadwater	
  
Missoula	
  
Lake	
  
Ravalli	
  
Glacier	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Cascade	
  
Dawson	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Rosebud	
  
Fergus	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Prisoner Reported Satisfaction with Visitation was calculated using prisoners’ responses to
one statement (“I am allowed to have family and friends visit on a regular basis.”). Prisoners chose
one of the five aforementioned responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1,
NOTE:
Prisoner
Satisfaction
with Visitation
was calculated
using prisoners’
to one
Strongly
AgreeReported
– 5). A mean
was calculated
to determine
average response
for eachresponses
detention center
statement
(“I
am
allowed
to
have
family
and
friends
visit
on
a
regular
basis.”).
Prisoners
chose
one
of the
and the counties’ scores were ranked with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the
five
aforementioned
were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A
chart
and the most responses,
adequate atwhich
the top.
mean was calculated to determine average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores
were ranked with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate
at the top.

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APPENDIX Q
APPENDIX Q

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  Reported	
  Access	
  to	
  Legal	
  
Materials	
  
Jefferson	
  
Toole	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Mineral	
  
Flathead	
  
Sanders	
  
Richland	
  
Lake	
  
Park	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Fergus	
  
Glacier	
  
Broadwater	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Ravalli	
  
Gallawn	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Missoula	
  
Rosebud	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Cascade	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Lincoln	
  
Dawson	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Prisoners Reported Access to Legal Materials was calculated using two statements (“I have
access to books that deal with law; I have access to a law library.”). Each response was scored from 15 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean was determined for each county for each
question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a composite mean evaluating prisoners
access
to legal materials.
NOTE:
Prisoners
Reported Access to Legal Materials was calculated using two statements (“I have
access to books that deal with law; I have access to a law library.”). Each response was scored from
1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5) and a mean was determined for each county for each
question. A mean of the means was calculated to determine a composite mean evaluating prisoners
access to legal materials.

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63

APPENDIX R
APPENDIX R

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  SaTsfacTon	
  with	
  Food	
  
Sanders	
  
Fergus	
  
Park	
  
Mineral	
  
Toole	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Gallawn	
  
Missoula	
  
Ravalli	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Rosebud	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Flathead	
  
Broadwater	
  
Dawson	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Jefferson	
  
Lincoln	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Lake	
  
Richland	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Cascade	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Glacier	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  

NOTE: Prisoners Satisfaction with Food was calculated using three statements (“I receive three
meals a day, every day; I receive a sufficient amount of food every day; when meals are served in the
jail, there is a variety of food.”). Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly
agree – 5) and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was
calculated
to determine
a composite
evaluatingusing
prisoners’
food provided
at
NOTE:
Prisoners
Satisfaction
with Foodmean
was calculated
threesatisfaction
statements with
(“I receive
three meals
different
a day,
everyfacilities.
day; I receive a sufficient amount of food every day; when meals are served in the jail, there

is a variety of food.”). Each response was scored from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, strongly agree – 5)
and a mean was determined for each county for each question. A mean of the means was calculated to
determine a composite mean evaluating prisoners’ satisfaction with food provided at different facilities.

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85	
  

APPENDIX S
APPENDIX S

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

SaTsfacTon	
  w/	
  QuanTty	
  of	
  Food	
  
Sanders	
  
Park	
  
Mineral	
  
Fergus	
  
Toole	
  
Rosebud	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Flathead	
  
Gallawn	
  
Ravalli	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Missoula	
  
Broadwater	
  
Lake	
  
Dawson	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Lincoln	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Jefferson	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Richland	
  
Cascade	
  
Glacier	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  

NOTE: Reported Satisfaction w/ Quantity of Food was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one
statement (“I receive a sufficient amount of food every day.”). Prisoners chose one of the five
responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was
calculated
to determine
average
response
each
detention
center
and
the counties’
scorestowere
NOTE:
Reported
Satisfaction
w/ Quantity
offor
Food
was
calculated
using
prisoners’
responses
one
ranked
with
the
least
adequate
detention
center
at
the
bottom
of
the
chart
and
the
most
adequate
at
statement (“I receive a sufficient amount of food every day.”). Prisoners chose one of the five responses,
the
top.
which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was calculated to

determine average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores were ranked with the
least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate at the top.

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   Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American

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65

APPENDIX
T
APPENDIX T
Prisoner	
  SaTsfacTon	
  w/	
  Variety	
  of	
  Food	
  
Sanders	
  
	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Fergus	
  
Gallawn	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Mineral	
  
Missoula	
  
Park	
  
Toole	
  
Lincoln	
  

	
  

Broadwater	
  
Rosebud	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Beaverhead	
  

	
  

Dawson	
  
Ravalli	
  
Flathead	
  
Jefferson	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
	
  

Yellowstone	
  
Roosevelt	
  
Richland	
  

Worst

Cascade	
  
Lake	
  
Glacier	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Reported Satisfaction w/ Variety of Food was calculated using prisoners’ responses to one
statement
(“When
meals are
there
a variety of
food.”).
Prisoners
chose one
of the five
NOTE:
Reported
Satisfaction
w/served
Varietyinofjail,
Food
wasiscalculated
using
prisoners’
responses
to one
aforementioned
responses,
which
were
valued
from
1-5
(Strongly
disagree
–
1,
Strongly
Agree
– 5). A
statement (“When meals are served in jail, there is a variety of food.”). Prisoners chose one of the five
mean was calculated to determine average response for each detention center and the counties’
aforementioned responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A
scores were ranked with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most
mean was calculated to determine average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores
adequate at the top.
were ranked with the least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate
at the top.

87	
  
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APPENDIX U
APPENDIX U

Worst

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Best	
  

Prisoner	
  SaTsfacTon	
  w/	
  Grievance	
  
Process	
  
Sanders	
  
Glacier	
  
Deer	
  Lodge	
  
Jefferson	
  
Beaverhead	
  
Toole	
  
Gallawn	
  
Ravalli	
  
Rosebud	
  
Mineral	
  
Silver	
  Bow	
  
Park	
  
Fergus	
  
Lewis	
  and	
  Clark	
  
Yellowstone	
  
Flathead	
  
Dawson	
  
Richland	
  
Big	
  Horn	
  
Lincoln	
  
Missoula	
  
Broadwater	
  
Lake	
  
Valley	
  
Cascade	
  
Roosevelt	
  
1	
  

2	
  

3	
  

4	
  

5	
  

Strongly	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  Disagree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Neutral	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Agree	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Strongly	
  Agree	
  

Average	
  Response	
  
NOTE: Reported Prisoner Satisfaction w/ Grievance Process was calculated using prisoners’
responses to one statement (“The grievance system in this jail works.”). Prisoners chose one of the
five responses, which were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was
calculated
to determine
response
for each Process
detention
center
and theusing
counties’
scoresresponses
were
NOTE:
Reported
Prisoner average
Satisfaction
w/ Grievance
was
calculated
prisoners’
ranked
with
the
least
adequate
detention
center
at
the
bottom
of
the
chart
and
the
most
adequate
at
to one statement (“The grievance system in this jail works.”). Prisoners chose one of the five responses,
the top.
which
were valued from 1-5 (Strongly disagree – 1, Strongly Agree – 5). A mean was calculated to

determine average response for each detention center and the counties’ scores were ranked with the
least adequate detention center at the bottom of the chart and the most adequate at the top.

88

	
   Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American

|

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67

APPENDIX V
Missoula Detention
Center Exercise
APPENDIX V
Policies and Procedures
Missoula Detention Center Exercise Policies and Procedures

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Acknowledgements
This report is the product of work from several individuals. Contributions to the report came from Anna
Conley, a former ACLU of Montana staff attorney, and Jacob Coolidge, a former adjunct professor at
the University of Montana Sociology Department and student at the University of Montana, School
of Law. This report includes data compiled by Anna Conley and Jacob Coolidge. ACLU of Montana
staff conducted detention center tours and interviews with administrators and sheriffs as well as sent
questionnaires to prisoners. In addition, the authors created and utilized the questionnaire attached as
Appendix A. With the help of Krystel Pickens, ACLU of Montana paralegal and intake coordinator, as well
as key volunteers, including Ben Nelson, Hannah Cail, and Kevin Johnson, hundreds of questionnaires
were mailed to prisoners throughout the state and responses were processed into a database.

Contact Us
For information about this report, please contact the ACLU of Montana at
aclu@aclumontana.org or 406-443-8590.

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