Montana IT Hero Keeps Montana DOC Up and Running

August 10, 2015 – HELENA, MT – Mike Raczkowski is all about supporting what he calls, “the real heroes” of corrections. The IT Communications Manager for the Montana Department of Corrections (MDOC) was named Telmate’s August Hero of the Month. “I support those that put themselves in harm’s way inside the prison walls and those that supervise parolees in the community,” he said.

Raczkowski (aka “Raz”), who works from the central office in Helena, brought an IT career in the private sector to the IT department at MDOC over 19 years ago. According to Raz, he chose the profession because he can communicate (well) with both computers and human beings.

As IT Communications Manager, Raz helps facility staff do the hard work of corrections inside the prison walls by providing the systems necessary to do their jobs.  Mike is proud of the fact that he was a part of the projects that provided network connectivity and distributed computers to the 34 separate facilities and offices MDOC has across the geographically large state.

In his current role Raz manages the department’s Public Safety Radio system along with the telephone System and videoconferencing services in all MDOC locations.  He also represents his IT Division on strategic sourcing projects in partnership with his CIO, John Daugherty.

Part of MDOC’s mission is to provide positive change in offender behavior, and reintegrate offenders back into the community. “Having affordable connectivity for telephone calls to their family and friends through the Telmate system definitely makes a difference in reintegrating them into society when they’re released,” said Raczkowski. “Almost everybody gets out eventually and the more they communicate with their family and other members of their community, the better equipped they are to reenter society successfully.”

MDOC has five locations in the state that Telmate provides service for, which represent all the secure facilities that the department runs directly. “We’ve been a satisfied customer ever since contracting with Telmate in 2010,” he said, “and Telmate has done an great job with everything.  When problems come up, including customer  service resolution and connectivity issues, Telmate gets them handled promptly.”

Raz is an avid fly fisherman who also hunts, hikes and camps in his spare time.  “I’m like every other guy I know in Montana,” he confessed.  Raz says he’s is also a part of a ministry known as Compassion Tanzania and has traveled to Africa three times to provide the people there with clean water and religious education.

According to Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Hansen, Telmate’s Hero Program tells stories from the perspective of the everyday hero. “As a company, Telmate represents empowerment, trust and technology,” he said, “and this program shows how we support these heroes that make a difference in the lives of inmate and families, whether it’s outside or inside the facility.”

Every month, Telmate receives nominations in recognition of heroes just like Raczkowski, who use the company’s technology, day in and day out. Telmate recognizes these heroes by selecting and honoring one Hero of the Month for their dedication and leadership.