Families are a key support group for offenders and their ability to stay in touch with loved ones while incarcerated is an important tool in inmates’ rehabilitative efforts. It also is comforting for the family to know that their loved ones are all right and getting along well while incarcerated. Such communication can help an inmate be more successful in treatment programs and behave better while in prison.
How to talk on the phone to a youth in a youth correctional facility
Five County (5C) Treatment & Youth Rehabilitation Center
See the Phone and Mail page on the 5C website
Pine Hills or the Youth Transition Center
Juveniles are allowed at least one free call per month approved through their case manager. Other calls must be made as collect calls.
- Preapproval required – 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
- Hours - 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.
- Frequency of calls – 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
Facilities not covered by the state’s inmate phone contract – 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:
- Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby – DOC monitor, (406) 434-7415
- Cascade County Regional Prison – DOC monitor, (406) 727-1930
- Dawson County Regional Prison – DOC monitor, (406) 377-7687
- Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center – Administrator, (406) 258-4021
- Passages Assessment, Sanction and Revocation Center in Billings – Lead counselor, (406) 294-9609, ext. 243
Security – 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. This is a common practice in correctional facilities across the country.
To receive a call – 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 (See Cost and billing section). 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.
Hours – Calls can be prohibited for security reasons at any time.
- Montana State Prison – 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Montana Women’s Prison – 6 a.m.to 10 p.m.
- Pine Hills Adult Programs – 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Riverside Recovery & Reentry Program – 8:15 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Frequency and length of calls – How often an inmate can call depends on the inmate’s classification level. Calls are limited to 30 minutes.
Restrictions on calls – 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.
Cost and billing
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.
Commission collected from inmate calls – 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.
Billing – 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 the number below to speak to a live account representative, or you may visit the website below by clicking on the link, 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.
*Please note: Debit calling is not available for youth residents. Please refer to Prepaid Collect accounts, which allow youth residents to place calls to specific phone numbers.
ICSolutions-Century Link billings agent
Setting up a prepaid collect account – For Montana State Prison and Montana Women’s Prison, inmate families or friends can create pre-paid inmate phone accounts to cover the cost of calls. This can be done several ways:
- Go online at http://www.icsolutions.com/. This address, available around the clock, also can be used to recharge an account and check balances on an account. Major credit cards or a checking account can be used for payment.
- Call the Century Link, customer service department at 1-888-506-8407.
- Links to flyers with additional information on setting up an account are posted below in English and Spanish.
English (pdf brochure)
Spanish (pdf brochure)
Calls with attorneys
Inmates can request to have attorney phone numbers added to the list of Attorney Privilege Calls. After the numbers are verified as belonging to attorneys, the phone numbers are added to the database and calls to those numbers are not monitored or recorded. The calls are subject to the same charges as other adult inmate calls.
MSP inmates may dial 422 from the inmate phones and leave a message asking Century Link to add an attorney’s phone number to the Attorney Privilege Call database. Century Link then:
- verifies that it is a valid attorney number
- adds valid numbers to the database
- leaves a voice mail for the inmate informing him if and when the number was added