Boot Camp at Prison Will Now Accept Females - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Boot Camp at Prison Will Now Accept Females

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DEER LODGE -

Right now there are 56 male trainees at the Treasure State Correctional Training Center located on Montana State Prison grounds.

During their time there, the men go through a rigorous treatment program.

They are pushed to the limit physically while also attending classes like anger management and learning skills to help them in the community.

Since 2003, it's been only males participating in the boot camp program, but now that is going to change.

"We've opened up our screening for the boot camp program to include female offenders," said Superintendent Michael Buckley. "That will make us a coed facility. We're going to open up four beds for female offenders to see if the interest is there."

The female offenders join the boot camp program after a group of them teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union and filed suit against the Department of Corrections, saying they were not getting the same opportunities as male inmates.

"They wanted the opportunity for a female boot camp and the department met with that group and determined an agreement that we would bring females back," said Kelly Speer, the facilities program bureau chief.

The women offenders will train directly with the males.

The facility has also made accommodations for the women, putting in new beds and creating private areas.

"A boot camp program in itself can be rather uncomfortable when you have to take a hard look inside and face your demons." said Buckley. "We want to make sure that we're not making it any more uncomfortable for female offenders coming here."

The boot camp is for offenders who have been sentenced from the courts or placed there by the D.O.C.

The trainees will spend three to four months at the facility.

"For some of them it's the first time they've ever accomplished anything in their lives," Buckley said. "We ask that they take that integrity and accountability into their lives post-program because they had to earn it."

The facility started accepting female applicants on November 1.

They expect to have the first four female offenders in the program by the end of the year.

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