Passages is a women’s community based correctional facility serving State and Federal inmates. The facility, located at 1001 South 27th Street in Billings, Montana, includes an inpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment unit (ADT), an intake unit that provides assessments, sanctions, and acute mental health care, and a pre-release (or re-entry) unit. The first clients of Passages were received January 19, 2007. Jan Begger, Chief Operating Officer, is the Director of Passages and oversees the operation of the facility. Ms. Begger has more than twenty-seven 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, Jen Porter, Licensed Addictions Counselor, Lead for Passages ADT (Alcohol and Drug Treatment), and Gina Poor, Licensed Addictions Counselor / Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
What is therapeutic community (or TC) at Passages about?
- TC is a right living community that supports the concept of changing unhealthy behaviors and thoughts to healthy ones;
- TC is used in correctional facilities to help individuals become part of a supportive community model;
- TC supports drug-free and crime-free lifestyles.
Recreation at Passages is part of treatment.
- Passages has a full time recreation manager for all programs;
- Recreation provides a healthy and sober outlet for all residents;
- Depending on the program, recreation can include yoga, Zumba, gardening in the Passages New Visions garden along with community trips and events in the City of Billings;
- Passages has a sweat lodge run by local volunteers to help maintain Native American culture and traditions.
In 2009, Passages began utilizing Skype for inmate visitation. Please contact the center for more information.
Passages PRC: Women’s Pre-release Center
This 74 bed residential facility occupies the first floor of the Passages facility located at 1001 South 27th Street. There are five beds reserved for those who have significant mental health issues. During the average six month stay, these offenders hold full-time employment, participate in on-site 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 by the facility. 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 Center
The ASRC is a 50-bed unit for women offenders located at Passages.
This unit serves the same functions as the Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center (MASC) and the Sanction, Treatment, Assessment, Revocation and Transition Center (START) do in the men’s system, which is…
- Those newly sentenced women offenders with DOC sentences are brought to ASRC for assessment to determine the appropriate level of care and custody;
- Offenders who are revoked from their placements might ordinarily be transferred to the prison are provided a second chance for community placement by addressing concerns;
- Women offenders who are not revoked from placement, but whose behavior warrants disciplinary action, may be placed in ASRC as a sanction;
- Lastly those who request removal from treatment programming are transferred to the ASRC unit and given the opportunity to consider or rethink this decision in lieu of transfer to the Montana Women’s Prison.
- The ASRC also serves to provide mental health stabilization services for women offenders with acute needs from other community corrections programs.
All residents of the ASRC program at Passages participate in educational groups to assist in preparation for community placement. These educational programs consist of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Thinking Errors (CTE), Introduction to Substance Use Disorders, and Anger Management. Additional individual sessions and groups may be recommended by the treatment team as needed.
Passages ADT: Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program
Alcohol and Drug Treatment (ADT) at Passages is a 50 bed Level III.5 Inpatient treatment program for female offenders with a length of stay of 90 days. ADT is comparable to Connections Corrections in the men’s system.
Women can be referred to ADT in several ways:
- From the Assessment, Sanction and Revocation Center (ASRC) at Passages;
- From a Probation Officer in the community due to continued use of chemicals while on supervision;
- From the Montana Women’s Prison;
- From an Intervention Hearing due to use while in another community corrections facility.
While at treatment all the residents will be in the following groups:
- Matrix model of drug and alcohol treatment
- Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills group
- Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
- Seeking Safety
Based on individual needs, Gambling and Trauma are also offered.
Each woman is assigned a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and a case manager for individual sessions.
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.