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State prison limits visitation to 2 days a week

August 2, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A staffing shortage has led the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge to cut visitation days from four days per week to two.

Beginning on Aug. 16, the prison will be open for inmate visits only on Saturdays and Sundays. The Thursday and Friday visitation is being temporarily suspended.

Warden Jim Salmonsen says the move will allow staff to be reassigned to higher-priority security posts.

The prison has openings for 60 correctional officers.

Visitation was limited to two days in March 2017 due to staffing shortages and at the time had 25 openings for correctional officers.

In May 2014 the prison suspended Wednesday and Thursday visitation and continued visits Friday through Sunday while seeking 65 correctional officers. The Wednesday visitation was never restored.

The prison houses nearly 1,600 male inmates.

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