The first clients of Passages were received January 19, 2007. Jan Begger is the Director of Passages and oversees the operation of the facility. Ms. Begger has more than twenty years experience in corrections and is a Licensed Addictions Counselor. She holds a Masters Degree in Management from the University of Mary.
Joining Ms. Begger in managing Passages are Kelly Mortensen, B.S., Lead Case Manager for the Pre-release Center program, Mindy Brookshire, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, who manages Passages ASRC (Assessment, Sanction, Revocation, and Hold Center), Rhonda Stennerson, Licensed Addictions Counselor, Lead for Passages ADT (Alcohol and Drug Treatment), and Kristi Forsch, B.S., Assistant Director.
All Passages units utilize therapeutic communities. The concept of Therapeutic Community has been utilized in the treatment of chemical dependency for approximately 40 years. Over time, this concept has been adopted by correctional systems in order to provide a “chain of communication” among inmates that helps to reinforce a drug-free lifestyle along with acceptance of personal and community responsibilities. Each offender is assigned to a crew; crews include: Environment, Expeditor, Business, Education, Motivation and Orientation. While on a crew, the individual learns how to interact effectively with peers, builds self-respect and self-esteem, and completes necessary tasks within the community. The programs are designed to instill the concept of “Right Living”. Right Living is obtained by changing unhealthy behaviors and thoughts to healthy ones.
Passages has a full time recreation manager who ensures that residents in all three programs participate in healthy activities. Recreation is considered part of treatment in all of the Passages programs and includes activities such as yoga, crafts, movies, holiday themed events, community service projects, and outdoor sports. For pre-release residents , staff supervised community events such as the Montana Women's Run and attending Native American PowWows, physical fitness at a local gym and working in the Passages New Visions Garden are among some of the activities coordinated to provide healthy and sober outlets for residents.
A wonderful addition to our program is volunteer Chaplain Jack Coward, who after retiring from working as a military chaplain and as a jail chaplain, is helping individuals grow spiritually in their religion of choice.
In 2009, Passages began utilizing Skype for inmate visitation. Please contact the center for more information.
If you are a Montana state employee who needs to contact a client's case manager, please click here.
Passages ADT & ASRC Intake Video
Passages PRC: Women's Pre-release Center
This 65 bed residential facility occupies the first floor of the Passages facility located at 1001 South 27th Street. During their six month stay these offenders hold employment, participate in treatment groups and life skills training, and maintain a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. They are supervised on a twenty-four hour per day basis. Focus is on reentry to the community as productive citizens.
Visiting hours for the pre-release center are as follows: Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Sunday and Holidays 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Passages ASRC: Women's Assessment/Sanction/Revocation/Hold Center
Offenders sentenced directly to the Department of Corrections are eligible for immediate placement in the community. A 50-bed program, Passages ASRC is the first stop for DOC committed offenders who require assessment in order to determine the appropriate level of care and custody. This program also provides services to DOC committed offenders violating the conditions of community placement, offering a sanction placement for up to 90 days.
When a female offender is revoked from a community placement such as pre-release, ISP, or a treatment program by a hearings officer, she may be sent to ASRC under a revocation status. This means that the ASRC team will try to obtain another community program either with the original placement or at another appropriate community placement. If such a placement cannot be found within 120 days, the offender may then be transferred to the Montana Women's Prison.
The fourth program offered at ASRC is the Hold program. This program offers inmates of the Montana Women's Prison the opportunity to live on the ASRC unit, perform daily work duties and earn a modest wage while awaiting community placement. During assessment and revocation offender's stay, residents receive chemical dependency assessment, mental health assessment and services, and basic medical care. All participate in treatment programs to aid preparation for community placement. These programs consist of Matrix chemical dependency group, Responsible Living, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Principles and Restructuring (CP&R), Anger Management, Victimology, and Grief Group.
ASRC is also fortunate to have a number of community programs come into the facility such as the Avon Breast Grant educators, RiverStone Health educational programs, Cancer 101 with the Billings Clinic, Celebrate Recovery, and yoga facilitated by Elizabeth Klarich.
They will average slightly more than one month in Passages ASRC and 95% will be placed in community based treatment programs, pre-release centers, or on probation supervision.
Passages ADT: Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program
Up to 94% of offenders placed in pre-release centers have chemical dependency issues. Sixty-five percent of women offenders are addicted to or have used methamphetamine. Passages ADT is a 60-day, 40 bed chemical dependency treatment program for women offenders and is located on the third floor of the facility. Also included in Passages ADT are sanction beds; these accommodate the referrals of probation and parole officers who want the offender to complete Passages ADT as the individual's sanction for a probation violation and return to their prior placement when complete. A minimum of five beds are reserved for this purpose at all times. In June, 2008 in conjunction with the Department of Corrections, Passages began a Pilot Project on the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Unit. The project involved extending the program to 90 days and including treatment in the following areas: mental health, relationships, trauma, and expanding the Native American curriculum. There are five beds available for the 90-day treatment process.
In June In December of 2007 Passages ADT Program was selected, through a Request for Proposal, to provide Short Term Residential Treatment services for Federal defendants and offenders.
In 2007, with the help of the County Extension Office, a garden was added at Passages. The residents in the ADT Program have been a part of the garden since then and are able to spend time each week tending to this garden. The garden was named "New Visions" by the first residents of the Passages Program.
Visiting hours for the Alcohol and Drug Treatment program are as follows: Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. All visiting for this unit must be approved in advance by Passages personnel.
Passages CAP: Culinary Arts Program
The Passages facility has a well equipped, newly constructed kitchen facility. The Culinary Arts Program (CAP) provides food service training and employment support for up to 15 offenders referred from the Montana Women's Prison. These women offenders will be within 24 months of release eligibility, with the ideal candidate within 18 months of release. Program enrollees will receive classroom instruction, in-house food service experience, work release in the community, job placement assistance, and will complete a pre-release program during the last six months of placement. The goals of CAP are:
- To provide appropriate offenders an extended period of job training, treatment, and supervision in a community corrections setting;
- To provide training and support so as to enable offenders to obtain employment in the food service industry at above minimum wage in positions that offer an opportunity for advancement;
- To support the operation of the Alternatives, Inc. Food Service Department;
- To provide reliable, well trained workers for local restaurants, banquet facilities, bakeries, and other food related industries;
- To maximize the use of community resources and community involvement in support of program participants.
In September of 2010, Passages was awarded Pre-Apprenticeship certification from the Montana Department of Labor. This certification establishes minimum standards for which we are held accountable and promotes a quality education.