Montana State Prison Receives Accreditation for the Second Time - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Montana State Prison Receives Accreditation for the Second Time

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For the second time in the Montana State Prison's history, the infirmary is being recognized as an accredited health care facility.

If it wasn't behind locked gates and barbed wire you might never know the difference between this state prison infirmary and the health care facilities people attend on the outside world.

Health care staff at Montana’s State Prison infirmary say achieving re-accreditation by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care was not without hard work.

"Everyone stepped up, put their best foot forward and dug in and did the hard work that is required to main accreditation and for that I'm truly proud to be part of Montana State Prison" said Heidi Abbott who led the re-accreditation team.

There are 68 categories assessed to determine accreditation. Although there are too many to name them all, they include areas such as sanitation, infection control, suicide prevention, dental care and optical care. It also monitors the time frame between when health care services are requested by an inmate to the actual time a patient receives the care they need.

"One of the hallmarks of medical care that we provide to incarcerated individuals it is quite an honor to be accredited and our facility was accredited in 100 percent in all the categories," said physician Tristan Kohut.

Kohut says often inmates receive a better standard of care when they are locked up than they do once they are released back into the public health care system.

"In fact many of them once they get out do not continue with their health care. Many of them come in with little or no health care and we care for them and bring them back to pretty good health," said Kohut.

Prisoner care is funded through tax dollars. The re-accreditation for Montana State Prison is valid for the next three years at which time they would need to apply again.