Former Missoula County detention officer alleges inmate abuse at jail


Former Missoula County detention officer alleges inmate abuse at jail

MISSOULA, Mont. - A former Missoula County detention officer has submitted two grievances detailing alleged incidents that he claims created an unsafe, hostile environment for workers and inmates.

Tim Boileau filed the grievances with Captain Jason Kowalski and Sheriff Carl Ibsen. Boileau claims that the Detention Officers Association of Missoula County union submitted a complaint back in November of 2011, detailing at least six alleged incidents of use of excessive force and abuse between 2008 and 2010 by a specific sergeant.

Boileau served as president of the union from 2009 to 2012. Boileau claims that the allegations were not dealt with.

Missoula Sheriff Carl Ibsen wrote a response to that submission and said that no member of the union tried to talk to him about the allegations.  Ibsen says that there was too much time between the complaint and the alleged incidents.

Ibsen told NBC Montana that he strongly disagrees with any allegations that the jail is an unsafe place for either inmates or workers.

"Our jail, our detention center, is a safe and secure facility for the prisoners and the workers, as it should be," said Ibsen.

Boileau's attorney, Richard Buley, says his client had to deal with an environment at the jail that was hostile.

"If you don't manage the place correctly from the get-go, you end up in an endless cycle of mismanagement, of frustration and of abuse," said Buley.

Boileau's grievances also alleges that in December 2012, officers handcuffed a mentally ill woman's behind her back for 19 hours. 

"That is just one incident where Tim brought his concern about this to the higher-ups and nothing was done about it," said Buley.

"Like all of the incidents, we're reviewing it to see if they were investigated or if they were reviewed at the time and if that was done appropriately," said Ibsen.

Ibsen says that all of Boileau's allegations are being reviewed, and that he's assigned a detective to work full-time on the matter.

Boileau resigned from his job of 15 years in mid-September. He stated that he had to resign for ethical and moral reasons. It is not known how long the Sheriff's Office review of the allegations will take.

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