I don't know a whole bunch about the rules and programs offered but I'm impressed already at the things I do know about Montana State Prison.
For one thing, they have a lot going on for their Native American prisoners-------gatherings that outside people can attend as guests, sweats, a tipi set up within the fence, singing, drumming, and good access to supplies for doing their Native American crafts. My guy makes breastplates, among other things. They've got a place in town that will sell their stuff on consignment, too, plus they can be commissioned by free world people and do work by contract for them and keep all the money from their sales.
There's also a group for veterans.
And their commissary is extensive and cheap! I wish I could shop at those prices! He sent me a commissary list and it's both sides of a sheet of paper longer than legal sized paper, printed in fine print. Lots of good stuff offered in all areas------electronics, clothing, shoes, CD players and cassette players, fans, TV's, typewriters, lots of food and bakery goods, even. Good selection of toiletries, as well as things like antacids and vitamin supplements. I'm quite impressed with their commissary. I've seen quite a few commissary lists so I know a good one when I see one.
One thing I appreciated was that, even though I sent in some pages of a calendar with pictures on them that I wanted him to see, they didn't return the whole thing to me letter and all. They let him have the letter and just got rid of the calendar pages. I like that. I hate when they won't let the person even have the letter when it's just something in it they won't allow.
Oh, and they can order crafting supplies from anyplace that will deal with prisoners, pretty much, instead of being restricted severely on where they can order from, and I can have catalogs sent to him.
Books can be sent in most easily from Barnes and Noble. He says they have a contract with them. That makes it easy because Barnes and Noble is online.
I'll keep asking him questions and keep adding to the Montana profile as I get more information.
He mentioned someday checking into moving closer to where I am so I could visit easier, but I told him I wouldn't want him to leave there when he has so much more going for him there. He's in for life without parole and I'd hate to see him leave all that just to make it easier for me to visit.