Montana Correctional Facilities Face Boiler Issues in Extreme Cold

HVAC system service technician doing repair work. News - Montana Correctional Facilities Face Boiler Issues in Extreme Cold

On Monday, the Montana Department of Corrections leaders announced their plans to monitor heating equipment at Montana correctional facilities for an additional day.

The facilities are addressing challenges posed by sub-zero temperatures.

Following a boiler malfunction at Montana State Prison (MSP) in Deer Lodge on Friday night, the Department established an “Incident Command System.” Brian Gootkin, the Director of the Department of Corrections (DOC), stated in a press release on Monday that the team had been actively addressing the situation around the clock.

Gootkin reported they were happy that no new major heating issues had affected inmates in the past 24 hours, and they keep addressing issues as they arise.

According to DOC leaders, one of the two boilers at MSP’s Work Reentry Center malfunctioned, resulting in a temperature drop in a building accommodating approximately 180 out of the prison’s 1,500 inmates. Additionally, the DOC shared that a boiler at the Pine Hills Correctional Facility in Miles City on Saturday night, accommodating approximately 80 adult inmates and 30 juveniles, experienced a failure.

In both cases, DOC leaders swiftly fixed the boilers, providing extra blankets to inmates in need and situating portable heaters in common areas.

Gootkin expressed sincere gratitude to members of the Montana Department of Corrections team who not only handled weather-related emergencies in recent days but also carried out their regular duties in these challenging conditions.

Acknowledging the statewide impact of extreme temperatures, Gootkin emphasized the dedication of the staff and community partners in ensuring the safety and security of everyone in Montana correctional facilities.

With an anticipated rise in temperatures above zero on Tuesday, the department outlined plans to conclude the Incident Command System unless unforeseen issues arise.

Several reports reached MTN, a news outlet, from individuals stating that family members at MSP had communicated ongoing heating issues in some areas of the prison post-boiler repair.

A department spokesperson informed the news outlet of a minor heating system issue in one of the higher-security “High Side” units on Monday morning, which was promptly resolved. The department remains vigilant about addressing emerging issues as they arise.



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