The state has awarded Community, Counseling and Correctional Services a contract to build a 40-bed prerelease center in the Kalispell area, the Corrections Department said Thursday.
The agency chose the Butte-based CCCS from among four proposals. The contract calls for the state to pay a daily rate of just over $84 per offender.
The state must still measure local support for the project before it can be built.
The 2007 Legislature authorized the creation of a prerelease center in northwestern Montana, which is not currently served by such a facility. Prerelease centers help offenders as they transition from prison to communities and those who can benefit from a higher level of supervision to avoid prison.
Offenders, who stay at prerelease centers for an average of six months, must have a job and are restricted in their movements. Prerelease residents receive treatment, counseling, education, job training and placement services.
In the past seven years, nearly 900 offenders from Flathead County have spent time in prerelease centers, the department said, with about half moving back to Flathead County.
“The Department of Corrections’ top priority is public safety and we firmly believe that helping offenders succeed in the communities where they eventually will live is the most effective way to reduce the likelihood of them committing new crimes,” said Kerry Pribnow, prerelease program contract manager.
About 800 offenders are housed in prerelease centers in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.