DETENTION CENTER LEVY: Let’s review the numbers


Click Here For Frequently Asked Questions


The number of beds currently available at the existing Lewis & Clark County Detention Center which is located in the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). This is up from 54 beds when the current facility was opened in 1985.


Individuals incarcerated by Lewis & Clark County Detention Center, typically averaging over 90 in the facility with the others in available space throughout the state. But space is running out.

As of June 16, 2017 the total incarcerated was 117 with 37 taken to other facilities.


Percentage of inmates who are eventually released back into the community.

$150,000 - $250,000

The annual budgeted amount for housing Lewis & Clark County inmates in facilities throughout the state due to overflow. This does not include the transportation costs, medical costs or delays in the criminal case process. Even more serious, the availability of jail beds throughout the state is disappearing.


People who were admitted to County and other local jails in 2015 in the nation.


Percentage of adults in US jails that have serious mental illness.


Tours of the jail are available!  We encourage you to sign up for one.  The jail is located at 221 Breckenridge Avenue. You can contact Allen Ireland with the Sheriff’s Office at (406) 447-8235 or (406) 447-8204. 


Tours are available:

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 11am and 11:45am.
Saturdays at 10am.

County staff may only educate and provide informational facts.  No advocacy.


STATUS QUO OPTION/What If Nothing Was Done?

*On average there are well over 100 individuals incarcerated at the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center, typically averaging over 90 in the facility with the others in available space throughout the state. Space is running out. We are not alone. Other detention centers are full leaving us with nowhere to move our over capacity to.

 *Sheriff Dutton states. "Our capacity to hold inmates has been overrun. This puts our community at risk. We are leveraging pre-trial services, mental health services, 24/7 program and Treatment Court to keep the inmate population down. Lewis and Clark County is growing and our facility was not designed to keep our Detention Officers safe with this many inmates. There are people on the streets that should be in jail, but, we have no room. Our Officers are writing tickets instead of making arrests. Repeat misdemeanor offenders are growing because there are no 'jail-time' consequences."


Current Facility

*Built in 1985 with an overall capacity of 54 inmates.

*Even though bunks were welded in to increase the capacity to 80 beds to house inmates, the population in custody continues to average over 100 inmates.

*Lewis and Clark County has averaged between $150,000 - $250,000 per year

Housing prisoners in other jails - an expense which has actually been as high as $250,975.

*Even more serious, availability of jail beds within 40 - 90 miles from the county is disappearing.

*The expense of transporting prisoners long distances to and from court is substantial.  Gallatin and Broadwater Counties are primary locations where we send overflow population.

*Areas within the current jail originally earmarked for education and program functions are now being used for inmates housing.

*Lewis and Clark County’s current facility fails to comply with current jail codes and standards. Lack of compliance exposes the county to substantial and ongoing risks of liability. County officials have been working with corrections experts as well as the design team to ensure that adequate resolution of these long-term issues occurs.

*Renovation options to the existing Law Enforcement Center facility have been voter approved and estimated at $6.5million.



The levy proposed is for 15 years and would be for the operations and maintenance of the renovated Detention Center.

$4,000,000 annual operating levy is approximately: 
$42.86 for a $100,000 home and $85.72 for a $200,000 home.
Levy payments will begin in November 2018 if approved by voters.
One mill estimated value in our County based upon 2016 assessment for the state and county taxes is $125,989.

A total of 31.75 mills are estimated.

Paid for by Lewis and Clark County
Roger Baltz, Treasurer
316 North Park, Helena, MT 59623