Montana’s only Veteran Reentry Program opens in Great Falls. - news.mt.gov

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Montana’s only Veteran Reentry Program opens in Great Falls.

Friday, January 11, 2019/Categories: Department of Corrections/Tags:

Date:  January 11, 2019
Contact: Amy Barton, 444-0409, abarton@mt.gov

GREAT FALLS- Great Falls Pre-Release Services, Inc.  Program Manager Mike Scott announces the opening of The Great Falls Veteran Reentry Program (GFVRP).  In partnership with the Montana Department of Corrections, Great Falls Pre-Release Services, Inc. has established a cutting-edge correctional treatment model based on the idea that our veterans are worthy of a genuine opportunity to regain dignity, respect, and the hope that they may once again lead a productive, meaningful life reinfused with self-worth and belief in our country’s founding principles.

Based on the program’s mission statement, Scott states, “At Montana’s only Veterans’ Reentry Program, we promote the dignity and self-worth of justice-involved veterans through quality services, activities, social skills and opportunities designed to assist those who selflessly served our nation whether at peace or in war.”

Eligible veterans may be transitioning from secure correctional facilities or need stabilization while on probation, parole, or Veteran’s Justice Courts.  GFVRP will provide a safe, clean, and healthy environment for veterans as they work together with staff and community volunteers to address their individual needs during reentry.

“Montana Department of Corrections is dedicated to addressing the needs of offenders to encourage successful reentry into our communities,” Montana Department of Corrections Director Reginald Michael said. “We want to be cognizant of the additional challenges that justice-involved veterans face and hopeful of the opportunities available through the Great Falls Veteran Reentry Program.”

The length of the program will be determined by the individual needs of the offenders.  The typical program length will be 90 to 270 days; the veterans will be housed separately from other Pre-Release participants.  A dedicated case manager and support staff will be present in the wing, which also features a separate dining area, a military-styled dormitory as well as semi-private rooms. GFVRP currently has the capacity to serve 30 adult male offenders. 

Raymond Sederdahl is the first Veteran to be accepted into the program.  “I am very excited to be given the opportunity to take part in the Veteran’s Reentry Program,” stated Sederdahl. “Given the circumstances, it is very beneficial to my family and I participating in a Veteran’s based program; working with Veterans to treat our specific needs to ensure successful community placement.  The application process was easy and getting accepted was quick.  I am looking forward to getting back to my family equipped with the skills needed to be successful and stay out of the justice system.”

GFVRP is utilizing evidenced-based programming provided in a trauma-informed environment, which complies with the justice reinvestment initiatives of last legislative session, aimed at saving the state money by reducing recidivism.

GFVRP is replacing the previous Great Falls Boot Camp Aftercare Program.  The Aftercare Program was no longer required following the 2017 closure of Treasure State Correctional Training Center. The 2017 Legislature approved House Bill 650, which repealed the statutory requirement that the Dept. of Corrections operate a correctional boot camp program.

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