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Gallatin County Detention Center offers life changing services to inmates

The jail has taken up a unique approach to rehabilitating inmates--connection.
Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 11:45:40-05

BOZEMAN — After taking a look at Beaverhead County's jail, MTN News visited the Gallatin County Detention Center, looking at the programs and services that make it unique.

"The great desire of the Gallatin County Detention Center is to work to have people who come in here, leave better," says Reverend Roxanne Klingensmith.

Klingensmith has been volunteering at the jail for almost 19 years. She explains how Gallatin County has worked to reach its goal.

"This, in my view, is the Cadillac of all detention centers in Montana. It’s not because it’s expensive, it is because it’s been designed to help people go through this time in their lives and come out able to do so."

Jail Commander Jackie Keery explains that with over 30 programs and 140 volunteers, the center has used these evidence-based programs to decrease recidivism from 35% to 15%.

She says, "Our sheriff, when this building was built, wanted programs to be the center of what went on. We have things for addiction, spiritual, educational, parenting, anger management—anything that’s a life skill that will help folks in their future."

"We are a jail, not a prison, so our folks are short term. And we’re trying to help them before they move on to those more severe crimes. We want to intervene when they’re first starting out on poor decisions and help them create a better path to go down," Keery adds.

"So the benefit is that they have at their disposal wonderful classes, things that they may have not had a chance to do, and also meeting people who very much care about them," says Klingensmith.