Helena’s Prerelease Center is a community corrections 105-bed facility serving adult men who must be a resident of Montana. Our facility is designed to ease the transition of an offender from a correctional institution to living independently in the community. A person may be transferred from a jail directly to our Center (on inmate status) if the Montana Department of Corrections determines the offender does not need to go to prison and/or the offender violated conditions of their community placement.
We believe the four most important areas to focus on during rehabilitation are:
- Employment – it can be a source of pride, identity, and the beginning of financial security
- Education – is a transition to a better, criminal-free future lifestyle
- Treatment – a drug-free and emotionally stable person will be able to get and stay well
- Connections – with family and supportive friends to ease your transition back to a satisfying life
We agree, and combined with our state-of-the-art facility, a diverse and knowledgeable staff, and supportive community, we will continue to lead the way for bringing a better tomorrow closer today.
“Get back on my feet”, “Find a job”, “Make a living”. These are frequent requests we hear from our residents. A job can be a source of pride, identity and the beginning of financial security. Our full-time job coordinator has been very successful in networking with the greater Helena community to find employment opportunities. In a recent period, the average time to find employment for our residents was between 7-10 days.
A transition to a better future requires new approaches. We provide education and instruction in life skills and job preparation with a long-term focus. Assistance from the Helena Adult Learning Center and CTI (Career Training Institute) includes completion of the GED and other educational opportunities.
A diverse staff delivers a myriad of treatment programs to facilitate a healthy transition to the community. Expertise in chemical dependency, job development, and care management enable us to respond to our residents needs. A part-time psychologist adds to the depth of our capability to further the emotional and psychological wellness of residents.
We provide the following specialized services:
- Chemical dependency and mental health evaluations
- Intensive outpatient addiction treatment (up to 10 hours of services per week)
- Outpatient addiction treatment (1 to 3 hours per week)
- Cognitive behavioral therapies such as;
- Strategies for Self-Improvement and Change
- Cognitive Principles & Restructuring
- Anger Management
- Parenting classes
- Victim Impact Panel
The appeal of a prerelease center is the progressive transition back to a satisfying life and to reestablish connections with family and friends. Our pleasant environment with easy access, parking, and contemporary setting encourages a positive return to normalcy. The network between our center and skilled professionals, schools, and community agencies is your connection to a better future.
The Resident’s at the Helena Prerelease pay $14.00 per day, and the Department of Corrections pays $59.87 per day.
How are offenders chosen for a prerelease center?
Institutional probation and parole (P&P) officers assess inmates about to leave prison, and traditional P&P officers do the same for offenders revoked for a violation of their community placement. Offenders committed to the department are assessed by their P&P officer and at the Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center. In each case, the offender’s file is sent to our facility for our review and a decision to accept is made by the screening committee.
What is a screening committee?
Our screening committee reviews offender information and decides whether the offender is appropriate for our facility. Our committee includes, staff members, P&P Officers, local law enforcement, City Commissioner, and citizens that live or work in the area.
What do offenders do in a prerelease center?
Our Center has a daily schedule with expectations that the inmate will focus on rehabilitative programming.
Can residents work while they live at the facility?
Yes, we require offenders find a job. We have a full-time job coordinator that assists residents in finding work. Residents are required to check in and out, and center staff monitors the offenders’ movements.
Are offenders able to do what they want?
No. Offenders in our Center are restricted in where they go and what they do. They are required to be accountable not only to themselves, but also to their victims, their community, the Center and the Department of Corrections. They help pay for costs of their stay, income taxes, child support and restitution to victims.
How do you monitor offenders?
The case managers establish schedules for each offender and security staff track if the offender is where he or she is supposed to be. Job Coordinators talk with each offender’s employer and get regular progress reports on offenders’ work.
What happens when offenders walk away?
They are charged with felony escape and can face up to 10 years in prison. They forfeit all their personal property left at the center and can be permanently barred from another Prerelease Center placement. Centers are required to report the escape to law enforcement and the news media. They distribute information about the offender and the department issues an arrest warrant.
Helena Pre-Release Center
805 Colleen Street
Helena, MT 59601
FAX: (406) 495-0582
Deputy Director of Community Corrections Programs
Mental Health Therapist
Job Development Coordinator
Job Development Coordinator