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Due to staff shortages, the state prison will suspend in-person visits until further notice

 Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana
Montana Department of Corrections
Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana

Starting Oct. 31, all in-person visitation rights to the state prison will be suspended until further notice.

In a statement, corrections department spokesperson Carolynn Bright says the prison is experiencing higher-than-normal staffing shortages. The statement says that while the agency recognizes the importance of in-person visitation to inmates, their families and friends, “we must place safety and security of the public, staff, and inmates above all else.”

Bright says the corrections department intends to resume normal visitation as soon as it becomes safe to do so. To help inmates stay connected with their family and friends, they will receive two free video visits and two free phone calls every week during the suspension.

Bright says the agency is taking several measures to improve staff recruitment and retention. Those include attending career and job fairs, studying the possibility of transportation from Butte and Anaconda to Deer Lodge and exploring housing and even RV parking opportunities for prison employees.
Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.