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Volunteers Needed To Assist Native American Inmates In State

Volunteers are needed throughout the state to lend a hand to Native American prisoners, said Terry Boyd, Native American liaison for the Montana Department of Corrections.

Boyd, who is a native of Poplar, said, “I’m trying to find people to volunteer in prisons for Native Americans.”

Help needed include with religious ceremonies and cultural activities. Boyd hopes to strike a balance between safety and security while ensuring access to religious opportunities and artifacts.

Facilities where volunteer assistance is needed include the Montana State Prison, Women’s State Prison, Shelby correctional facility, Pine Hills correctional facility in Miles City and Dawson County correctional center in Glendive.

Boyd can connect interested volunteers with the closest facility. He can be reached at 406-431-8051.

He has served as the Native American liaison since November 2022.

He acts as a liaison between the department and tribal councils. In addition, he delivers training and information on Native American culture related to correctional practices. Boyd communicates with Native American inmates and families about concerns regarding culture and correctional practices.

He noted that Native Americans comprise 6.6 percent of Montana’s population, but they are disproportionately represented within Montana’s state correctional system. Overall, 19.8 percent of offenders under the supervision of the Montana Department of Corrections are Native American.

To help ensure the successful return of Native American inmates to Montana communities, the DOC delivers culturally specific programming along with religious opportunities.

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