Montana State Prison has new warden

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Michael Fletcher

A veteran of the Nevada Department of Corrections has been hired as the new warden of Montana State Prison.

Montana Department of Corrections Interim Director Loraine Wodnik announced Thursday that Michael Fletcher, whose most recent job was superintending a maximum-security juvenile detention facility in Nevada, will replace Warden Leroy Kirkegard. Kirkegard, warden for the past five years, is retiring on April 14.

“We’re excited to bring Mike’s talents and leadership experience to our corrections team,” Wodnik said in a press release.  “He’s a good fit for Montana and we’re confident he will excel in advancing the positive initiatives already underway within the department.”

Until recently, the press release said, Fletcher served as superintendent of the Summit View Youth Facility in Las Vegas.  He was chosen to reopen the troubled Nevada Department of Health and Human Services facility in August 2015, after it had been closed for the third time.

Before that, Fletcher was warden of operations at Ely State Prison, a maximum-security prison in rural Nevada. Fletcher also worked in Las Vegas as a child abuse investigator, a counselor and a re-entry case manager who helped inmates transition back into the community.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve as the Montana State Prison warden and to join the Department of Corrections team,” Fletcher said in the release. “Warden Kirkegard has set the prison on a sound course, and I plan to continue the facility’s focus on providing a safe workplace and an environment that encourages offenders to better themselves.

Fletcher graduated from the University of Phoenix, Las Vegas, with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Management.  While in college in Omaha, he began working at Clarinda Academy, a residential facility for youth. That experience led him to a career in corrections.

Born and raised in England, Fletcher moved to Bellevue, Neb., with his family as a teenager.

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