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Missoula County Detention Facility
(406) 258-4000
Missoula County Seal and image of areas around the City.

Missoula County Detention Facility

Department: Missoula County Detention Facility
Missoula County Home

Missoula County Detention Facility

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions:

Following are our most frequently asked questions along with the answers. If you find that your question has not been answered here, you can call our office at 406-258-4000.  Click on the links below to jump to the respective answers.

  1. What are your hours?
  2. How does visiting work?
  3. How do phone calls work?
  4. How does mail work?
  5. What can I send or bring to an inmate?
  6. What if I have medical concerns regarding an inmate?
  7. How can I get timely, same-day information to an inmate, such as participation in court appearances?
  8. How does the bail system work?
  9. What is the system for picking up someone who has been released?
  10. How are complaints about the detention facility handled?
  11. What kind of inmates do you have at the facility?
  12. What programs does Missoula County have for inmates?
  13. What about offender registration?
  14. Is there a county work program?
  15. Is there a support group for families of inmates?
  16. What happens when an inmate has disciplinary problems in custody?
  17. What is classification?
  18. How do inmate accounts work?
  19. When is court?
  20. How many officers are there?
  21. What kind of training do officers have?
  22. How can I apply?

What are your hours?

The facility operates 24/7. However, administrative and visiting services are limited to normal business hours. We do allow visiting on weekends. We are closed for all federal holidays. If you call at a time when the administrative office is closed, your call will be forwarded to the Booking Office.

How does visiting work?

Inmates may not visit for the first 72 hours. After that, visiting is scheduled according to housing assignment (pods). For example, inmates in Pod 3A can visit Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, at 8:30 a.m. Each inmate has the opportunity to have visitors three times a week, for ½ hour each time. The phones are on a timer, and do not have a warning that the time is about to end, so visitors must take the responsibility of keeping track of the time. Visitors must call in at least the day before, to schedule a visit. If the inmate’s housing assignment changes, his visiting time will change, and it is his responsibility to notify his visitors so they can reschedule. All visiting is through the glass, no contact visits. You must have government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license). You will be checked for warrants, and may be arrested if warrants are found when you come to visit. If inmates are in court or in the clinic, they will not have their scheduled visit.

Visitation Schedule (subject to change)
Time Mon Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun
8:30 – 9 3A 1A & 2A 3A 1A & 2A 3A 1A & 2A
9:30 – 10 3B 1B 3B 1B 3B 1B
10:30 – 11 3C 1C & 2C 3C 1C & 2C 3C 1C & 2C
1:30 – 2 3D 1D & 2D 3D 1D & 2D 3D 1D & 2D
2:30 – 3 3E 1E 3E 1E 3E 1E
3:30 – 4 3F 1F 3F 1F 3F 1F
4:14-4:45 2E 2B & 2F 2E 2B & 2F 2E 2B & 2F

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How do phone calls work?

Inmates can call out collect. We do not accept incoming phone calls for inmates, nor do we deliver messages or FAXes. Phone calls are recorded and may be monitored. Phone calls are limited to 20 minutes, but if no one else is waiting to use the phone, the inmate can call up again and continue the conversation. Friends and family can set up pre-paid phone accounts by contacting our vendor, Global at 1-800-483-8314. Prepaid calls are less expensive than collect calls. We will NOT deliver the message to the inmate that you now have a pre-paid account.

How does mail work?

Inmates can receive correspondence through the mail – no drop-off mail. Envelopes must be clean – no stickers, tape, glitter, glue, smudges, etc. Inmates can send out mail. All mail is subject to being read and checked for contraband.

Address the envelope with the inmate's full name, then send to:

Missoula County Detention Facility
2340 Mullan Road
Missoula, MT 59808

What can I send or bring to an inmate?

We do not accept food, books, writing materials or stamps for inmates. We have books here for recreational reading. If the inmate has money in his account, he can buy writing materials, snacks or other personal items from Commissary. You can put cash or send in a money order for the inmate. We would accept eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, and prescriptions (current, properly labeled and verifiable).

What if I have medical concerns regarding an inmate?

The clinic is staffed by registered nurses and a family nurse practitioner. We have a dentist who handles dental emergencies. We will not release medical information about adult inmates. Inmates can request medical attention. If you have concerns about the inmate, you may be able to talk to someone from the clinic, to GIVE information, but to GET information, you should contact the inmate in question. If an inmate has an off-site appointment for medical treatment, he or she will be responsible for the cost of that off-site visit. If the inmate doesn't pay, the medical bills will be sent to a collection agency.

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How can I get timely, same-day information to an inmate, such as participation in court appearances?

You can appear in court and observe the proceedings yourself. We do not notify people of the outcome of court appearances. You will have to depend on communication (phone or letter) from the inmate or his attorney to get that information, or contact the inmate's attorney.

How does the bail system work?

The bail or bond amount is set by the court. The prisoner, or someone working on his behalf, can post the amount at court (during business hours) or at the detention facility (after business hours). The prisoner can also contact a bondsman who will post the bond (for a fee). Names of bondsmen are in the phone book, and are also posted in the pods. There is also a list posted near the after-hours door. For some crimes involving family violence, there is no bond set until the person has his first appearance in court.

What is the system for picking up someone who has been released?

Inmates are released through the door marked "After Hours". If the inmate knows when he will be released, he can call someone to come pick him up, but will have to do this before he leaves his pod.

How are complaints about the detention facility handled?

If you have a complaint about a staff member, it is best to try to resolve the problem with that staff member, or his or her immediate supervisor. If that doesn’t work, contact the detention facility by phone, in writing, or in person, and you will be directed to the appropriate person to deal with the issue. If you have a question about facility conditions, send those to the Facility Administrator. If you have information about a staff member who has been particularly helpful to you, please send the information to the Facility Administrator.

What kind of inmates do you have at the facility?

MCDF has a juvenile detention facility that can hold up to 24 male and female inmates under the age of 18.

The county jail portion can hold 48 women and 160 men. Some of them are pre-trial – waiting for their trial to occur. Some have been found guilty and are waiting to be sentenced. Some of them have been sentenced and are serving county jail time, or are waiting for transport to the prison. Besides holding prisoners for the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department and Missoula Police Department, we also hold prisoners for the US Marshals Service, UM Police, Montana Highway Patrol, Probation and Parole, and other local agencies.

The state wing is the Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center, and has 144 beds. When a person is convicted of a felony, the judge can sentence him to prison, or can sentence him to the Department Of Corrections. If sentenced to prison, the man is sent to Montana State Prison (Deer Lodge) and the woman is sent to Montana Women’s Prison (Billings). If sentenced to DOC, the man is sent to MASC (women to BASC in Billings) where he is "assessed" to see if he should go to prison, parole, boot camp, pre-release, or some other program. If someone is already on parole, and violates the parole, he can be sent to MASC as a short term "sanction", before going back out on parole.

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What programs does Missoula County have for inmates?

Organized programs for Missoula County are very minimal. We have religious volunteers, and AA/NA. We do not have an adult education program, although we do contract with the school district for a teacher to work with the juveniles. MASC inmates can work (and earn a small fee) by working in the laundry or kitchen. County inmates can work in some custodial jobs (cleaning, floors, etc) and in the library.

What about offender registration?

Sex and violent offenders register at the Missoula County Detention Facility. Registration information is sent to the state, to the sheriff and police department, and to the newspaper for publication.

Is there a county work program?

We do not have a program where inmates are released during the day to work, and then come back to sleep at the jail. However, judges can sentence people to a work program, where they register at the jail, and then work in the community.

Is there a support group for families of inmates?

No. We are more oriented to support for victims and families. For example, we attempt to notify victims when their assaulters or stalkers are about to be released.

What happens when an inmate has disciplinary problems in custody?

If the inmate commits a crime while in custody, that is investigated by the sheriff’s department and we try to file charges with the County Attorney’s office when appropriate. If the behavior is a violation of facility rules, the inmate can lose privileges such as visiting and commissary, and may be segregated from other inmates. If the person is found guilty, the person’s disciplinary record (or lack of it) is shared with the courts for purpose of sentencing.

What is "classification"?

Classification is the system of reviewing the inmate’s personal history, crimes, and behavior then giving him a housing assignment where he is most likely to do well during his time of incarceration.

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How do inmate accounts work?

If a person has money when arrested, or if someone sends in money, it is put on his account. If the person makes a purchase from Commissary, the amount is deducted. We charge medical co-pay fees for visits to the doctor/dentist/physician’s assistant, to the nurses, and for prescription refills. No inmate is denied medical care because of lack of ability to pay.

When released, the prisoner will get an account statement. If a negative balance exists, the receipt will show the amount owed to MCDF, with instructions on how to pay or to get a refund. Amounts due are subject to being sent to a collection agency. If there is a positive balance, the inmate will get a check for that amount.

When is court?

Persons having their first appearances in Municipal (City) court generally appear around mid-morning. The schedule varies depending on the availability of the city judge and bailiffs. The inmate appears via our video court system. Justice Court appearances are at 2:30, with Judge Odlin on odd-numbered days, and Judge Orzech on even-numbered days. Initial appearances are by video court. Family members can attend at the courthouse. Attorneys usually attend at the courthouse but can attend the arraignment with their client at the detention facility. For actual trials and district court appearances, the schedule varies depending on the judge assigned, and the type of appearance. Trials are conducted "in person", not via video.

How many officers are there?

The detention facility has approximately 90 detention officers, and a support staff of about 22 (medical, kitchen, library, office staff.)

What kind of training do officers have?

New detention officers attend a three-week Corrections-Detention Officer Basic at MLEA. They must also pass an on-the-job training program that lasts about 10 weeks.

How can I apply?

Applicants may learn of recruitments by checking our web site We also advertise in the classified section of the Sunday Missoulian, through the Missoula Job Service, and on bulletin boards throughout the County Courthouse. If you have any questions, please contact the Missoula County Human Resource Office.

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