The Montana Department of Corrections believes that families are a key support group for offenders, and their ability to stay in touch with loved ones while they are in prison is an important tool in inmates’ rehabilitative efforts.
Regular communication is comforting for the family, so they know that their loved ones are okay while incarcerated. Communication can also help an inmate be more successful in treatment programs and behave better while in prison.
How to talk on the phone to an offender in a youth correctional facility
Telephone calls generally occur between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. daily. Two outgoing telephone calls per week are permitted for Detention Residents (10 Minutes). Juveniles in Detention may earn a privilege for a third call in a one week period. The Week is considered to start Sunday and go through Saturday.
Juveniles in Treatment Programming may earn additional weekly phone calls. Calls are limited to 15 minutes. Parents may call 208-624-1345 to speak to a Center Staff or member of Management.
5-C staff may end a call if there is suspicion of inappropriate verbal conduct by a juvenile or the other party. There may be occasions where a telephone call will be placed on speaker phone. In this case, the party on the other end will be notified.
Residents that abuse telephone privileges may result in phone use loss or restriction with juvenile probation approval.
Juveniles have the right to contact their attorney, juvenile probation officer, or contracting agency personnel assigned to their case management. Phone calls will be conducted during the scheduled time for telephone calls and during normal business hours. Juveniles are expected to make the appropriate arrangements with staff.
A record of telephone calls will be kept indicating the person who was called.
Juveniles are allowed at least one free call per month approved through their case manager. Other calls must be made as collect calls. To receive a call from a juvenile offender, your number must be on the offender’s pre-approved list. Contact the youth’s case manager or the superintendent for approval.
Pine Hills Case Manager: (406) 232-1377
Youth Transition Center: (406) 452-5047
Youths may make calls at the following times:
Pine Hills Youth Program – any day of the week, outside of regular programming hours until 9 p.m. Youths typically are free to make calls in the evening on school days, and on weekends when they are not in scheduled or structured activities.
Youth Transition Center – on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 9:30 p.m.
How often a youth can make a call is determined by availability of phones and how many calls recipients are willing to accept.
How to talk on the phone to an inmate in Montana State Prison, Montana Women’s Prison, Riverside Recovery & Reentry Program, or Pine Hills Adult Men Programs
The following information does not apply to the facilities that operate under a contract with the state. For information about inmate phone service at one of these facilities, you may contact:
Only prepaid collect and real-time debit calls from adults are allowed. Security is a primary concern, and prison officials must be able to track who inmates have contact with and the nature of their interactions, to ensure security practices are not violated.
Inmate calls, except those to attorneys and to the PREA hotline, are electronically monitored and recorded. Security concerns require this to protect the public from harassment, unwanted calls, and illegal activities.
To take a call from an inmate, you must accept the charges or set up a prepaid phone account with the Inmate Telephone System Provider. When an inmate calls, you are informed that you have a call from an inmate at the specified facility and are given four options: accept the call, refuse the call, block calls from the facility, or get a rate quote for the call.
If you accept the call, your prepaid account through Century Link’s billing agent (ICSolutions), will be billed in real time at the end of the call for the amount of time used.
Calls can be prohibited for security reasons at any time.
How often an inmate can call depends on the inmate’s classification level. Calls are limited to 30 minutes. Inmates in confinement for disciplinary violations are not permitted to make phone calls. Phone calls are a privilege, not a right, and access can be affected by an inmate’s behavior.
The flat-rate cost is $0.143 cents per minute. A 30-minute long-distance call from an inmate at Montana State Prison, Montana Women’s Prison, Pine Hills Adult Program, and Riverside Risk & Reentry Program to anywhere in the continental United States costs about $4.29 plus taxes and fees mandated by state and/or federal law.
Costs vary at the contract facilities because they use different providers. International calls are billed at a rate of $0.35 per minute.
At the two prisons, all commissions earned go into the “inmate welfare fund,” which is used to pay for inmate activities and programs, including subscriptions to the satellite TV service and recreational equipment for the inmates. Most of the fund’s revenue comes from phone calls.
Century Link is the state’s contractor for inmate phone systems. Billing and account management is handled by ICSolutions, Century Link’s billing agent. Friends and family must set up a prepaid phone account through Century Link/ICSolutions in order to receive calls.
Accounts will be tied to a phone number that has been approved by the facility. When an inmate makes a call, they will have the option to select a “prepaid collect” call or a “real time debit” call.
If they select prepaid collect, the friend or family member will be billed in real time at the end of the call for the amount of time used if they accept the charges at the beginning of the call. If the inmate selects real time debit, the inmate’s trust account will be debited at the end of the call for the amount of time used.
To set up a prepaid account, you may call 1-888-506-8407 to speak to a live account representative, or you may visit the Website and scrolling down to the section titled “Available Services” and clicking on “Manage or Create a Service Account” under the Prepaid Collect section. You will be directed to set up a user ID and password to create your account.
Setting up a prepaid collect account – For Montana State Prison and Montana Women’s Prison, inmate families or friends can create prepaid inmate phone accounts to cover the cost of calls.
This can be done several ways:
Flyers with additional information on setting up an account are available in both English and Spanish.