Montana-Based Foundation Steps Up to Help Break State’s Cycle of Crime

Grant to Nation’s Largest Outreach to Prisoners Will Expand Statewide Efforts to Help Released Inmates Stay out of Prison

More than 2,900 men and women are incarcerated in Montana prisons and more than 90 percent will eventually be released. The challenge is helping them stay out of prison after their release.

Statistics show that within three years of release, 38 percent of men and 25 percent of women will return to prison. This revolving door disrupts lives, families and communities across Montana.

To help combat the problem, Bozeman-based Gianforte Family Foundation is providing a $10,000 grant to Prison Fellowship to expand the work of the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners and their families and help break the cycle of crime in Montana.

“We are grateful to the Gianforte Family Foundation for recognizing the need for the valuable work Prison Fellowship does in Montana, said Mark Hubbell, Prison Fellowship’s northwest area director. “Its financial assistance is invaluable to us in continuing our efforts to restore lives and communities affected by crime and incarceration throughout the state.”

Prison Fellowship’s work in Montana is led by Hubbell and supported by more than 50 volunteers.

With the assistance of the grant, Prison Fellowship will expand its efforts beyond the six Montana prisons in which the organization is currently active. Working in coordination with the Montana Department of Corrections and local jurisdictions, this work will include:

  • Establishing volunteer-led Bible-based programs in prisons
  • Developing pre-release preparation classes in prisons
  • Connecting incarcerated mothers and fathers with their children
  • Creating a church-supported reentry network to assist those with a crime in their past

Among the programs supported by the Gianforte Family Foundation is Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree, which mobilizes churches and organizations throughout the U.S. to provide prisoners’ children with Christmas gifts and much more. Last year, nearly 800 Montana children received gifts through Angel Tree. During the past 34 years, Angel Tree volunteers have delivered more than 10 million gifts to children throughout the nation on behalf of their incarcerated parents.

About the Gianforte Family Foundation 
The Gianforte Family Foundation was established in 2006 by Greg and Susan Gianforte. The foundation makes financial grants to equip people with the knowledge and means to make long-term improvements to their lives and circumstances, as well as creating lasting change in their communities. Since its creation, the foundation has become one of the top giving foundations in the state of Montana. The foundation has supported Prison Fellowship since 2014.

About Prison Fellowship
Prison Fellowship was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, a former aide to President Nixon who served a seven-month prison sentence for Watergate-related crimes. Today the faith-based nonprofit is the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform.