Talk:Montana State Prison

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Rename[edit]

This article's name feels improper: it discuss strictly of a facility that is no longer used as a prison, and is CLEARLY not about the new facility outside Deer Lodge. Circeus (talk) 13:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

The article was originally named "Old Montana Prison" to delineate some form of separation from the current Montana Prison facility. Upon advice from another editor, however, it seemed appropriate to rename it Montana State Prison because it does deal closely with the history of the institution, regardless of location. tanankyo (talk) 20:52, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Dates wrong in lead?[edit]

The lead says The prison was constructed between 1974 and 1979 in response to the continued degeneration of the original facility located in downtown Deer Lodge. Either the dates refer to the new prison, or they are wrong. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 12:07, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

The dates do refer to the new prison; do the revisions to the lead section make that more clear? tanankyo (talk) 23:55, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Conley resignation date as mayor[edit]

Re: Conley's downfall, Mayor Conley resigned in September 1928, not 1929 Jwilsonjwilson (talk) 20:52, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Conley downfall[edit]

Would not some reference to Judge Horsky's 1922 decision in State of Montana vs. Frank Conley be useful in this section? You seem to rely much on Keith Edgerton's book Montana Justice and its Chap. 4, No Warden More Efficient: Frank Conley. The 1922 decision is quite at variance with Edgerton's account, which is mostly a rehash of charges made in the MacDonald Report. I realize that Wikipedia wants to be an encyclopedia rather than a forum, however Montana Justice, the MacDonald Report and the Horsky decision are all documents of record. To consider only one side of a controversy strikes me as contrary to the intent of Wikipedia. A source for the Horsky decision is The Helena Independent for Nov. 28, 1922, wherein it is printed in full except for the details of some referenced court cases. It would of course also be preserved in full in Montana District Court Decision records for that year.

In one place you say "he launched a series of investigations and audits which laid bare the extent of Warden Conley's corruption between 1908 and 1921". Conley was completely exonerated by Judge Horsky of any and all charges of corruption leveled by the State of Montana (see decision in 11/28/1922 Helena Independent). Also, the state dropped the coal charges before filing the lawsuit, as they are nowhere included in the 15 causes of action. This section as it stands reads more like a 1920's Progressive smear campaign than a balanced article. Jwilsonjwilson (talk) 00:53, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Another telling blow to these charges is that the State of Montana never appealed Judge Horsky's decision[1]. Instead the Dixon administration meekly paid the amounts specified in the decision. A note on the absence of the coal charges from the list of charges in State of Montana vs Frank Conley:

About that ½ million tons of coal mentioned in the MacDonald Report, how long could you expect to heat a residence with that? Googling suggests it takes about 50-100 lbs per day. Half a million tons is about 1 billion pounds, so you'd get about 10 or 20 million days worth of heating. Hmmm. I suppose the inference was that the coal was simply being stolen and resold, and the state was either too corrupt or too stupid to complain... Again from Google I gather that a modern railroad car holds about 100 tons of coal, so Frank would have co-opted about 5000 car loads... Actually reading the MacDonald Report[2] shows that the amounts of coal mentioned are just numbers with no measure indicated. Apparently some secondary commentator rendered them as 'tons'.Jwilsonjwilson (talk) 05:04, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Escape Attempts[edit]

This starts off the section: "Perhaps in response to punishment like the hole, some prisoners strove to escape. In 1902, the inmate stable boss of a barn outside the walls named Thomas O'Brien drugged Conley's dogs, used for hunting and tracking down escaped convicts, *** again, hitting George Rock, who retreated from the office. Hayes got back to his feet, and Conley shot him again and threw him into the hall after Rock.". It appears that text has been lost between the 1902 escape attempt and the 1908 assault on Conley & Robinson. I marked the divide with ***. Jwilsonjwilson (talk) 21:24, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Found the missing text and reinstated it.Jwilsonjwilson (talk) 16:59, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Why Appeal to the People?". The Helena Independent. Helena, Montana. April 8, 1923. 
  2. ^ "MacDonald Report". Great Falls Tribune. Great Falls, Montana. February 22, 1922.