Who may visit

Family and friends who wish to visit an inmate must first complete a Visitation Questionnaire and be added to the inmate’s approved visitor list.

  • Questionnaires must be filled out completely and include the prospective visitor's full name, Social Security number, date of birth and gender. The form is available online or the offender may mail it to prospective visitors.
  • Mail the completed questionnaire to:
    • Visitation Officer
      701 South 27th Street
      Billings, MT 59701
    • Phone: (406) 247-5118
  • Individuals must be approved at least 72 hours prior to their planned visit to the Montana Women's Prison. Approval is based on a criminal background check.
  • The offender notifies prospective visitors of their approval or denial. Questions regarding denial must be directed to the Visiting Officer. You may appeal a denial by writing a letter to the Deputy Warden of Security.
  • Visitors may be on only one inmate's visiting list at a time, unless an exception is approved by the Warden or Deputy Warden of Security.
  • Unless pre-approved, no more than five approved people (including children) may visit an offender at one time.

What visitors can and can’t bring with them

Visitor searches – All visitors entering the facility are subject to search via a walk-through or hand-held metal detector, drug detection dogs and, when appropriate, pat-down searches.

  • All items carried by visitors are subject to search by entrance staff.

Prohibited items – Visitors may not bring:

  • weapons, narcotics, alcohol and tobacco products (cigarettes and chewing tobacco)
  • food, drinks or gum from outside the prison. Vending machines are available in the visiting area for visitors and offenders.

Contraband will be confiscated, local law enforcement may be called, and the visit may be denied. See MWP Prohibited Items for a more detailed list.

Allowed items – Most personal items must be left outside the facility. See the MWP Visitor Information pamphlet for a list of allowed items.

Photo ID required – All visitors over the age of 16 must bring a photo ID.

In addition to the required photo identification, visitors may bring the following into the prison:

  • one handkerchief
  • one small plastic comb (no pick, brushes or rat-tail combs)
  • eyeglasses
  • prescribed medical appliances (must have medical need documentation)
  • medications approved on a case-by-case basis – contact the Visitation Officer at (406) 247-5118 for pre-approval
  • no more than $15 in quarters in a clear plastic bag

Visitors with small children may also bring one diaper bag containing the following items (secured in the visiting foyer):

  • one clear plastic bottle of formula/juice
  • one new factory-sealed container of baby formula
  • one factory-sealed jar of baby food and a plastic spoon
  • four diapers
  • one baby blanket (not quilted and no larger than 3' x 3')
  • baby carrier (secured in the visiting foyer)
  • one small toy

Appropriate clothing

Appropriate clothing must be worn throughout a visit. Visitors are expected to be well-groomed. All visitors must stay appropriately dressed throughout the visit; this includes wearing footwear at all times. Violations of the dress code are cause for ending the visit.

Coats, shawls, ponchos, down-filled vests, jackets, headscarves, hats and caps are checked in and kept on a coat rack in the visiting foyer.

The following clothing is not allowed:

  • tank tops, tube tops, spandex, Lycra, see-through fabric or clothing with holes
  • tops that expose the midriff or show excessive cleavage
  • tops with hoods
  • bib overalls and wind pants
  • culottes, shorts, skirts and dresses that are above mid-thigh level

Conditions of visiting

Visitors and offenders are permitted a brief front-to-front embrace, including a brief facial kiss at the beginning and at the end of a visit. They may hold hands during the visit. All other forms of physical contact are prohibited and are cause for ending a visit. PETTING and FONDLING are prohibited, and hands must be kept in view of the Visiting Room Officer at all times.

Children 10 and under may sit on the offender's lap during visiting. The offender and visitor are responsible for supervising the behavior of children during the visit. If after being warned, they fail to control a child's behavior, the visit will be ended.

Separate bathroom facilities are designated for offenders and visitors. Visitors must accompany children 10 and under to the restroom. With the exception of using the restroom, if visitors leave the visiting area, the visit has ended. Visitors may not return to the same visiting session.

No items may be directly exchanged between offenders and visitors – Visitors are provided a pamphlet (LINK) that explains in more detail the dos and don'ts, and other rules governing visitation.

How to take hobby items or other property out of the prison – Hobby items and property may be sent out with an approved visitor if the offender has an approved kite that was given to the Visiting Officer prior to visiting. At the end of the visit, the Visiting Officer gives the property to the visitor, and officer and visitor both sign and date the kite.

Special visits

Visits of otherwise unapproved visitors, extended visits, or visits on non-visiting days may be approved by the Visiting Officer on a case-by-case basis.

Legal visits – Attorneys need to call 24 hours in advance and are expected to arrive on time or the visit may be denied due to institutional time constraints. Attorneys must present proper credentials, including photo identification. They are subject to search and all other Department of Corrections institutional rules and regulations.

Attorney visits are scheduled Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Officers may watch but may not listen to conversations between offenders and attorneys. Attorneys and offenders may exchange written material that has previously been searched, without being read. A non-contact booth is available to assure confidentiality.

Hospitalized offenders – Hospitalized offenders are not generally allowed visitors or phone calls. Exceptions (i.e. long-term or critically ill offenders) must be approved by the Deputy Warden of Security on a case-by-case basis.

  • Visits to offenders in medical isolation require approval by prison medical personnel.

Special housing cases – Offenders in maximum and administrative segregation may be allowed one visit a week, in the non-contact booth, if approved by the Visitation Supervisor or Deputy Warden of Security.