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Montana State Prison Deer Lodge

The Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge is seen in this file photo.

Michael Fletcher, most recently the superintendent of a maximum security juvenile detention facility in Nevada, has been selected as the new warden of Montana State Prison, according to a news release.

He'll replace warden Leroy Kirkegard, who is retiring on April 14, after five years at the helm of the men’s prison.

Until recently, Fletcher served as superintendent of the Summit View Youth Facility in Las Vegas. Fletcher 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. Previously, he served as warden of operations at Ely State Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary in rural Nevada. Fletcher worked for the Nevada Department of Corrections from November 2010 until August 2015.

Fletcher’s correctional experience in Las Vegas also includes working as a child abuse investigator, a counselor and a re-entry case manager who helped inmates successfully transition back into the community.

Montana State Prison is the largest correctional facility in the state, housing nearly 1,500 male inmates in a 68-acre compound designed to handle all custody levels: maximum, close, medium and minimum, according to the Department of Corrections website. Located about 3.5 miles west Deer Lodge, the prison employs a staff of about 640 uniformed and non-uniformed employees.

“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. “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.

“My family and I are very excited about the move to Montana. We have fond memories of our time in Nevada, and we’re looking forward to making many more as members of the Deer Lodge community,” Fletcher added.

Fletcher graduated from the University of Phoenix, Las Vegas, with a Bachelor of Science 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 working with incarcerated individuals.

Fletcher was born and raised in England, and moved to Bellevue, Nebraska, with his family as a teenager.

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

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