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What are Montana Inmate Records?

Inmate records are documents that contain official information on persons incarcerated in Montana correctional institutions. Generally, persons who obtain inmate records can expect to see the inmate's biodata, offense committed, facility of incarceration, imprisonment term, and release date. This information is available to interested members of the public per the Montana Public Records Act.

Inmate records are considered public in the United States and therefore are made available by both traditional governmental agencies as well as third-party websites and organizations. Third-party websites may offer an easier search, as these services do not face geographical limitations. However, because third-party sites are not government-sponsored, the information obtained through them may vary from official channels. To find inmate records using third-party aggregate sites, requesting parties must provide:

  • The location of the sought-after record, including state, county, and city where the inmate resides.
  • The name of the person listed in the record, unless it is a juvenile.

Facilities Operated by the Montana Department of Corrections

The Montana Department of Corrections is the administrative head of 21 state-owned and contracted prisons in Montana. Generally, state prisons hold felony offenders — that is persons convicted for more than one year. Interested persons may obtain the physical address and contact information of Montana prisons on the prison lookup tool.

How to Send Money to an Inmate in Montana Prison and Jail

Only the immediate family members, the inmate's lawyer, and approved non-family members can send money to inmates in Montana prisons. These individuals can send money electronically using the Inmate Trust Account Deposits service through a US Postal Money Order or Cashier's Check. The total amount sent through the online service must not exceed $250. To use this service, parties can follow the steps provided:

  • Visit the website and click on 'Create an Account.'
  • Enter username and password along with other required information
  • Provide the last four digits of your social security number (SSN)
  • Once logged in, the service allows you to see an approved list of inmates permitted to receive money from you.
  • Enter the amount of money you wish to send
  • Review the amount to be sent along with applicable fees before submission
  • A receipt will be sent when the transaction has been processed

For further inquiry, contact the Montana State Prison at: cormspmailroom@mt.gov or the Montana Women's Prison at: cromwpdeposits@mt.gov. This online service is available to inmates at the following prisons:

  • Montana State Prison
  • Great Falls Regional Prison
  • Dawson County Correctional Facility
  • Crossroads Correctional Center
  • Montana Women's Prison

Below is the information required from the sender when using a money order or a cashier's check, which should be directed to the inmate's mailing address:

  • The inmate's full name and Department of Corrections (DOC) number
  • The sender's name and address

Typically, the inmate receives the money within 20 days from when the sender purchased the money order. The envelope with the cashier's check or money order has to be postmarked from the location of the approved sender's noted residence.

On the other hand, the procedure for sending money to persons serving time in county jails differs with the facility of incarceration. The Missoula County Detention Facility, for instance, allows visitors to make a credit, debit, or cash deposit at the kiosk in the facility's lobby. There are no charges for using the envelopes and the safe next to the kiosk when depositing cash, money order, or cashier's check.

Money orders and cashier's checks require the inmate's name, sender's name, sender's address, and all correct fields completed. There is a $200 limit for money orders and cashier's checks. Both will be returned to the sender if all relevant information is not provided. The envelope used to send the money order and cashier's check should include the sender's name and address and should be addressed to the inmate and the facility's location.

How to Visit an Inmate in Montana Prison and Jail

The Montana DOC offers visiting privileges to inmates consistent with the facility's security. For state prisons, the visitor must first obtain approval from the facility of incarceration before scheduling a visit. Generally, Montana prisons require visitors to complete an application form and submit it in person or by mail. Once approved, visitations to a correctional facility are per the facility's policies, requirements, and restrictions, including:

  • Visitors go through a criminal background check.
  • Visitors under 18 years cannot visit an inmate unless approved by the facility administrator or accompanied by an approved adult.
  • Visiting privileges will be permanently revoked if a visitor attempts or successfully delivers contraband to an inmate.
  • If visiting privileges have been permanently revoked from one facility or program, they are automatically revoked from another contracted or department-owned facility or program.
  • Visitors will go through metal detectors sweep and will be subject to a clothed body search.

Meanwhile, video visitations can also be scheduled. However, the intending visitor must first obtain approval from the facility of incarceration before scheduling visits. Visits typically cost $4 for a 25-minute visit, as billed by ICSolutions, Century Link's billing agent. Upon visitation approval, follow these video visitation instructions to set up a video visit. For further inquiry, you can contact ICSolutions on (888) 506-8407. If there are any questions concerning in-person visitations, contact the appropriate correctional facility.

For county jails, visitation procedures are specific to each county. For example, the Missoula Detention Facility visitation procedure includes the following:

  • The inmate is responsible for ensuring they are available for video visits by making an online schedule
  • Visitors must call at least a day before to schedule visitation
  • An inmate can be visited twice a week for 30 minutes per visit
  • Visitors are limited to 3 for one inmate

How to Perform a Montana Prison Inmate Search

Interested persons may use the Montana inmate lookup tool to perform a free inmate search by name and identification number. Alternatively, a searcher may contact the prison administrator by phone, email, or mail to find a person in jail — call (406) 444-3930 or send an email to corpio@mt.gov. Note that Montana state prisons are facilities where persons with length prison sentences serve time — that is longer than twelve months.

How to Perform a Montana County Jail Inmate Search

County jails in Montana hold inmates awaiting trial or inmates sentenced to terms of less than a year. Generally, county jails keep a public jail roster of inmates in their detention facilities. Interested persons may access these public jail rosters by visiting the official website of the local law enforcement. For example, the Yellowstone County Detention Center provides an online portal of inmates in its custody. Searchers must use the inmate's first or last name to look up inmates on this website. Alternatively, interested searchers may contact the jail administrator by phone, email, or visiting in person during business hours.

The Difference between Montana State Prisons and County Jail

Montana's state prisons and county jails are operated by the state government. The Montana Department of Corrections is responsible for the state's prison system, while the county sheriff's departments are responsible for the county jails.

Montana has a total of five state prisons, which are located in four different cities across the state. The largest prison is the Montana State Prison, which is located in Deer Lodge County.

In addition to the state prisons, there are also 37 county jails in Montana. These jails are operated by the sheriff's department in each county. The largest county jail is the Yellowstone County Jail, which is located in Billings. Other large county jails include the Missoula County Jail, located in Missoula, and the Cascade County Jail, located in Great Falls.

The majority of inmates in Montana's prisons are male and the vast majority of inmates in Montana are white, with a total of 2,942 white inmates as of 2016. African American inmates make up the second-largest group, with a total of 646 inmates as of 2016.

How to Find an Inmate Release Date

Besides the inmate's biodata and offense information, an inmate search will typically turn up the inmate's release date. However, under certain circumstances, a record custodian may sequester this information from public perusal — such as when releasing the date puts the inmate at personal risk. In such cases, only eligible persons will have access to the inmate's release date. These include the inmate's immediate family members, crime victims, attorneys, and authorized law enforcement officials.

Montana State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Montana State Prison corner walls

The facility was built in 1871 and houses inmates who need low to high levels of protection and offers them a range of evidence-based programs to help them when they return to their communities in Montana.

  • There were over 1,240,000 reported violent crimes in the United States in 2017.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, approximately 3.4 million violent crimes went unreported.
  • Around 73 million (29.5%) of Americans have criminal records, many of which are eligible for sealing or expungement.
  • There were nearly 7.7 million property crimes in the United States in 2017. This represents a 3.6% decrease from the previous year.
  • Some newspapers have reported the cost of a public record can cost between $5 and $399,000.
  • In 2017, there were 1,920 presidential pardon requests. Of those, 142 were granted.