The Transition Center is designed as a structured pre-release program for adult male and female offenders who are within 24 months of parole eligibility or one year of discharge date. It allows residents participating in the program to re-integrate into the community while learning necessary life skills to maintain a crime-free lifestyle. The Center allows residents a period of time to establish employment and/or training, establish budgeting and money management skills, begin a savings plan, find housing and participate in counseling relevant to specific areas to aid in their transition into the community.
The Transition Center has a five-phase program beginning at the orientation level. Each phase has a minimum time frame of participation with graduated levels of responsibility. The resident assumes his/her own case goals as they progress through the program.
The Transition Center opened its doors as a male pre-release facility in March of 1984. At that time, the Center utilized the main floor for office space, kitchen and dining facilities, and a lounge area. the upper floor was used for living quarters. In 1990 the basement of the original facility was remodeled into office space, a conference room, TV room, hobby room and additional restroom facilities. In 1993 the Center undertook a major expansion which more than doubled the capacity and usable space in the Center. A women's program was added in October of 1996 with the purchase and renovation of building adjacent to the existing facility. In 1997 an expansion project involving the women's facility provided for an increase in service rooms and greater flexibility in programming. In 1998 the men's facility added to the wing completed in 1993 by extending that area to the South and increasing the Center by another 7500 square feet.
Throughout the years, the Transition Center has taken pride in its visual improvements to the building and grounds. Landscaping efforts are ongoing as we endeavor to become an appealing addition to the neighborhood.
Today the men's Center is a two-story 37,500 square foot facility, serving a maximum of 110 residents in the different programs. The main floor consists of a kitchen, dining areas, lounge areas, administrative offices, COMPLIANCE OFFICER office, a handicapped accessible restroom, urinalysis testing office, Jail Alternatives facilities for men and women and a separate area for booters. The basement consists of a hobby room, recreation area, two TV rooms, two conference rooms, counseling offices, two classrooms, laundry facilities, storage areas and three restrooms with additional showers. The upper floors contain a dormitory, 33 resident rooms, showers and restrooms.
The women's Center is a one level 10,340 square foot facility, serving a maximum of 40 females. In addition to resident rooms, the facility consists of a kitchen, dining area, TV room, restroom with tub/showers, laundry and exercise area, education room, library, hobby room, nursery, lounge and storage area. Staff areas consist of counseling offices, COMPLIANCE OFFICER office and a large group meeting room.
In 2005, the Montana Department of Corrections authorized another expansion for housing of 40 male offenders in the Great Falls Pre-Release Program. The Center was able to secure funding through the Montana Facility Finance Authority and construction of the new East Campus facility began in January of 2006. One year later, the new three-story East Campus opened with 37,428 square feet and a capacity to house 106 residents. This facility utilizes the latest innovations in surveillance features and design to provide optimal functionality.