GREAT FALLS — Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter announced recently that Joe Visser has taken over as the warden at the Cascade County Detention Center.
Visser’s been on the job for less than a month but is already hard at work trying to implement some new programs for the inmates that he hopes will have a positive impact.
He is excited about what will be taking place in the Cascade County Detention Center in the near future.
"More direct supervision, so that places staff inside the units. (A) couple different things that's going to do is alleviate potential problems with inmate-on-inmate activities, whether it's fights, gang-related, drug-related,” said Visser. "We deal a lot with mental health. If there's an inmate that is struggling, may be suicidal or just needs that extra mental health care, we can see that right off the bat."
First, though, the Sheriff's Office has to have the staffing, and Visser said they are working on that: "I got to take part the last two weeks in some of our new hires. I'm very pleased about our training program. We've got six more starting here in the next week,” Visser explained.
He's also helping continue the implementation of a physical fitness program.
"They implemented, or started before I even got here, the Get Fit program. We're changing one of our rooms into kind of a fitness center. There's not going to be any free weights. The idea is not for them to bulk up but to relieve some stress,” said Visser. "We’re going to have more bands, resistance training, palates, yoga, things like that where our officers are actually in there with them and participating in these programs."
He said the number one priority is the safety and security of everyone inside - inmates, staff, and visitors.