Behavioral Health Services

The Behavioral Health Team includes two Behavioral Health Therapists, one Behavioral Health Case Manager, one Licensed Addiction Counselor, and one Education/Transition Coordinator. The Team works collaboratively with Detention Center staff and our partners in the community to address mental health, suicide, and addiction issues experienced by a high number of those incarcerated and to prepare incarcerated individuals for a successful return into the community. 

As a Stepping Up County, CJS is dedicated to supporting programs and services in our community that assist in reducing the incarceration or re-incarceration of individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders in ways that not only improve public safety, but promote positive outcomes for individuals, their families, and their communities. In addition to providing annual funding to our partners at Lewis & Clark County Public Health and Good Samaritan Ministries, CJS works collaboratively with a number of other resources throughout the community on behalf of justice-involved individuals to enhance and promote the work we all do.

Learn more about each program/service below:

Behavioral Health Jail Interventions

Each year, approximately one third of bookings at the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center involve an individual who reports having a diagnosed mental illness. Two therapists and one case manager work directly in the Detention Center alongside Detention Center staff. 


Behavioral therapy interventions within the Detention Center include crisis stabilization, de-escalation, and both therapeutic and suicidal interventions. Incarcerated individuals may request to meet with CJS staff using the inmate communication system or may be referred by Officers, who are trained to observe and identify individuals who may be experiencing a crisis. CJS therapists are available Monday through Friday during business hours. If a crisis occurs after-hours, our partners at St. Peter's Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) fill in the gaps in service.

The case manager assists individuals with successful transitions to the community, including benefit eligibility, housing applications, treatment placements, and referrals to continued behavioral health services upon release. 

CJS therapists and case managers have conducted approximately 4,000 interventions across almost 900 individuals from 2020 through 2022. For perspective, the Detention Center managed approximately 6,500 bookings in the same time period.


Education & Transition Services

Education and Transition services includes the volunteer program and additional case management services.

The volunteer program was established in January 2020. The Education/Transition Coordinator works with Detention Center staff to recruit and train volunteers from the community to lead programs and curriculum for incarcerated individuals. The program fosters connections between the community and incarcerated individuals and creates a web of support for each person prior to their release from the Detention Center. All programs and classes are voluntary, require inmates to sign up through the inmate communication system, and are subject to volunteer and Detention Center staff availability. Services and programs may be cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled if volunteers or staff are unavailable. The Detention Center utilizes radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, introduced in 2023, to track inmate attendance for volunteer-led programs and services.

The Education/Transition Coordinator also assists individuals with successful transitions to the community, including benefit eligibility, housing applications, and referrals to other community resources upon release.

Current & Upcoming Programs in the Detention Center

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) & Narcotics Anonymous (N.A) are both 12-step programs that provide a group setting for participants to address issues of addiction and to support those who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free and/or alcohol-free lifestyle. Participants in A.A. may also schedule to meet with a sponsor once a week to help provide them with additional resources and support.
  • Living Well in the Community (LWC) is a program through Ability Montana that helps individuals set goals to support their overall quality of life and wellbeing through sessions such as identifying what is meaningful to them and then set quality of life goals around the ways they want to make their lives better, applying problem-solving skills and managing emotions, improving health by changing daily habits, discovering tools and skills that make achieving goals easier, such as effective communication and finding resources, and practicing self-advocacy. This program runs two 10-week courses for males and females, separately.
  • Spiritual Services are available to inmates including weekly church services on Sunday, Saturday smudging ceremonies, and one-on-one services with a Chaplin by request.
  • Veteran Resource Groups are available to inmates with a history of military service to assist in connecting with resources and services available through the VA.
  • NCIC Schoolhouse Tablets are available to every inmate, offering hundreds of courses that provide education on a variety of topics, such as life-skills, work training, anger-management, mindfulness, as well as academic curriculum including math and science courses.
  • (New) Tutoring Services are offered thanks to volunteers from the Lewis and Clark Literacy Council. Inmates are screened for eligibility and have a 1-hour tutoring session once a week with their tutor. Tutors can work on GED/HiSET preparation, math, and literacy.
  • (New) Reflections in Writing is a literacy course inspired by Native poems and short stories with a focus on free-writing and offers participants an opportunity to reflect on their own lives and experiences. 
  • (New) Voter Registration is available thanks to volunteers from the League of Women Voters, this program is offered to both males and females, regardless of political affiliation. Inmates are provided education on the basics of voting and the voting process. If eligible, participants have the opportunity to register to vote.
  • (New) Nutrition 101 is a beginner class aimed at teaching participants the basics of nutrition and nutritional affects on the mind and body, macro vs micronutrients, the importance of drinking water, how to read labels, and healthy food-swap options.
  • (Upcoming) High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation will also be made available on the Schoolhouse tablets in addition to the pre-installed coursework. Individuals who begin the HiSET program while incarcerated will have access to their progress through EdReady Montana after their release.
  • (Upcoming) St. Peter’s Addiction Medicine Clinic will present educational topics focusing on addiction, what it looks like in the brain and body, effects of short-term long-term use, and changes that take place during recovery.

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer at the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center, please fill out the application below. If you have any questions, please contact the Education and Transition CoordinatorAlexia Clark.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Bridges Program

The Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Bridges program was implemented in the Detention Center in 2021 to address individuals with opioid use disorders (OUD) through the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. The types of medications used in MAT for OUD work by attaching to the same receptors in the brain that  to reduce cravings, treat withdrawals, and return patients to normal function. The goals of the program include:

  • Treat those with opioid use disorder (OUD) utilizing effective MAT programs.
  • Encourage participation in counseling and behavioral therapies.
  • Build bridges between the Detention Center and community-based treatment providers.
  • Reduce recidivism and reduce the return to opioid use within the first 90 days of exiting incarceration.
  • Increase public safety.

In May of 2019, Lewis and Clark County was one of 15 counties selected from across the nation to participate in the Planning Initiative to Build Bridges Between Jail and Community-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder program. This program, supported by Arnold Ventures and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, was a 9-month planning project designed to help communities develop a comprehensive continuum of care model that targets the jail population and builds bridges between in-custody and community-based treatment. A multidisciplinary MAT Bridges team was formed to research evidence-based practices used in existing jail-based MAT programs across the country and develop a MAT program specific to the needs of Lewis and Clark County. The team included: a County Commissioner, the Criminal Justice Services Director and Behavioral Health Coordinator, Sherriff's Office Detention Center Captain, Physician, and Nurse Manager, and two Federally Qualified Health Centers' (FQHC) Behavioral Health Director and Behavioral Health Program Supervisor. 

In 2020, CJS was awarded two three-year grants to assist with the implementation and support of the MAT Bridges program, including $142,000 from the Intergovernmental Institute of Research's (IIR) and Bureau of Justice Assistance's Building Bridges Between Jails and Community-Based Treatment and $600,000 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP).

Since implementation, 86 individuals have participated in the MAT Program in the Detention Center. Low utilization can be attributed to a number of barriers, but none more so than the lack of an in-house physician in the Detention Center. Following State-wide and national labor shortage trends, the Detention Center has been without a consistent in-house physician since 2022. In-house nursing staff are available to administer MAT-medications for individuals booked into the Detention Center with an active prescription but may not diagnose or prescribe. As a solution, the Detention Center and CJS coordinated with PureView Health and Helena Indian Alliance-Leo Pocha Clinic to offer telehealth services for the Detention Center. While this expands access for eligible individuals, Medicaid restrictions on incarcerated people reduce incentives to seek treatment, by obligating individuals pay for the prescriptions and physician services that would otherwise be covered through CJS grant funding. In 2023, CJS will seek an amendment to the COSSAP grant to allow funds to cover MAT services and medications through telehealth.

Additional program access barriers that would not be resolved with an in-house physician include individuals who are released before eligibility determination and individuals whose disposition after conviction is Montana Department of Corrections (DOC). DOC does not currently offer a MAT program, and, while DOC does contract with a number of treatment facilities, they do not all allow for the continuance of a MAT program within their facility. Thus, to prevent the chance of an individual experiencing an abrupt discontinuation and withdrawal from their MAT OUD medication, these individuals are not eligible to being the MAT program within the Detention Center. In 2022, DOC was awarded a grant to address inmate opioid use through the Montana Board of Crime Control. Introduction of a MAT program is one possible option for how DOC may utilize these funds in the future.

Narcan Vending Machines

Photo by MTN NewsThree vending machines dispensing Narcan, an FDA-approved "miracle drug" with the ability to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, have been made available at no-cost to the public, in an effort to increase community access to a life-saving medication. The vending machines can be found on the first floor of the Law and Justice Center, the Our Place Drop-In Center, and the CJS reception area. Narcan works by binding with opioid receptors in the brain and blocking the effects of opioids for 30 to 90 minutes, reversing respiratory depression. Narcan is considered safe, non-addictive and effective at restoring normal breathing. The machines were paid for through the IIR grant, and the Narcan is provided by the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
"Our primary goal is to eliminate opioid use in our community. The unfortunate reality is, many of us have neighbors, family, or friends that are struggling with opioid addiction. My hope is that these machines will be a resource for people who are trying to avoid losing their loved ones to addiction." - Chief Brett Petty, Helena Police Department

In the first six months since the vending machines were introduced, 581 boxes of Narcan have been distributed.

7-Generations Program

The "Seventh Generation Principle" is founded on the ancient Native American philosophy that the decisions we make today have a ripple effect that impacts the future through the next seven generations. Based on this principle, the 7-Generations Program (7-Gen) is designed for the caregivers and incarcerated parents of children ages 0–3 with the intention to stop the cycle of family criminal justice involvement. 7-Gen assists with treatment planning, stabilization, and family support and education to both the incarcerated parent(s) and the caregivers of the children in the community.


CJS transfers $45,000 annually to Lewis and Clark County Public Health for the coordination of 7-Gen and assists with referrals based on questions asked during the booking process.


Program Updates:
Fiscal Year 2023, Quarter 3(PDF, 123KB)
Fiscal Year 2023, Quarters 1 & 2(PDF, 124KB)
Fiscal Year 2022, Quarter 4(PDF, 119KB)
Fiscal Year 2022, Quarter 3(PDF, 116KB)
Fiscal Year 2022, Quarter 2
Fiscal Year 2022, Quarter 1(PDF, 118KB)
Fiscal Year 2021, Quarter 4(PDF, 125KB)
Fiscal Year 2021, Quarter 3(PDF, 137KB)
Fiscal Year 2021, Quarter 2(PDF, 156KB)
Fiscal Year 2021, Quarter 1(PDF, 98KB)

Program Coordinators:
Greg Daly, 406-457-8922
Alexia Clark, 406-594-5713


Intercept Zero Program

A collaborative diversion program between Good Samaritan Ministries and Helena Police Department allowing police officers to exercise discretionary authority to divert individuals to a community-based intervention for law violations driven by unmet behavioral health needs. The CJS Behavioral Health Coordinator facilitates this fledgling and promising program with the intention of formalizing, identifying funding, and bringing on the Sheriff’s Office and East Helena Police Department.

Our Place Drop-In Center

Our Place Drop-In Center is a peer-run support program specializing in behavioral challenges and those recovering from addiction. Many of the individuals utilizing services are criminal justice system involved or at risk of involvement. Connection with Our Place services provides stabilization and helps keep those involved from acting out in ways that require law enforcement. CJS provides $40,000 in operational grant funding annually to Good Samaritan Ministries for the Drop-In Center, and an additional $20,000 is set aside for minor programmatic facility improvements. Our Place Drop-In Center services includes:

Outreach and Engagement Housing Assistance
Peer Recovery Services Transportation Assistance
Socialization Job Application Assistance
Crisis Mitigation Medication Referrals
Quality of Life Improvement Mental Health Services Referrals
Community Groups Food and Food Packets
Volunteer Work

March 2023(PDF, 290KB)
February 2023(PDF, 184KB)
January 2023(PDF, 181KB)
December 2022(PDF, 142KB)
November 2022(PDF, 206KB)
September 2022(PDF, 229KB)
August 2022(PDF, 138KB)
June & July 2022(PDF, 138KB)
April 2022(PDF, 134KB)
March 2022(PDF, 230KB)

Location & Contact:
Our Place Drop-In Center 
631 North Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT  59601
Phone:  (406) 389-0223