Michael Fletcher chosen as new warden of Montana State Prison

Posted at 1:19 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 15:19:14-04

Montana Department of Corrections interim director Loraine Wodnik announced on Thursday that 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. 

Until recently, Fletcher served as Superintendent of the Summit View Youth Facility in Las Vegas.  He has also 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.

“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.”

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.  

“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. 

Montana State Prison Warden Leroy Kirkegard is retiring on April 14 after serving five years at the helm of the state prison.

Kirkegard, 57, told MTN News last month that his five-year stint as warden has been “the most challenging and frustrating job I ever had,” but that it’s been an honor to work with the “professional, dedicated group of people” on the prison staff.

RELATED: MT State Prison Warden Kirkegard retiring this spring