Jim Anderson Selected as Chief of Public Safety for Montana Department of Corrections

Department of Corrections

  • Carolynn Bright
  • September 21, 2021

Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) deputy director Cynthia Wolken announced today that Jim Anderson will join the department as chief of public safety.

Anderson comes to the Department of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, where he was the prison commander and managed the operations of the detention center. There he oversaw a best practice and behavior-based inmate management system and programs to reduce recidivism and improve reintegration services. Anderson was also the executive director of CIT Montana – a statewide organization that trains first responders to better manage people with mental health and / or addiction disorders.

“Jim has the experience and skills that we are looking for for this role as we move forward with the modernization of our correctional system,” said Wolken. “This modernization includes evidence-based programs and practices that target an individual’s specific risks and needs, increased behavioral health services and the support of our field staff which is key to improving outcomes. Jim’s career reflects his drive to scale up and lead these essential initiatives as we work on our mission to “Create a Safer Montana Through Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Empowerment.”

The Chief of Public Safety position is responsible for overseeing secure departmental facilities (Montana State Prison, Montana Women’s Prison, Pine Hills Correctional Facility); secure institutions under contract (Crossroads Correctional Center and Dawson County Correctional Facility); Probation and parole operations; and the services that support these areas.

The role is new to DOC and is part of a reorganization recently undertaken by DOC Director Brian Gootkin and approved by Governor Greg Gianforte. The new organizational structure consolidates most of the DOC’s functions in central services, public safety and rehabilitation and programs.

“I am truly thrilled to join the top DOC leadership team and look forward to taking on the role of Chief Public Safety Officer to help keep Montanais safe statewide,” said Anderson.

The ministry publicly invited applications for this position through a competitive process that ran from July 21 to August 11, 2021.

Anderson’s first day with the department will be November 1.

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