May 31, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
Retirement Party June 9 at Hungry Bear Steakhouse
Wrap up toughness, sincerity, daring, honesty, boxing, confrontation, bull-dogging, dedication, Italian, feistiness, belief in people, hard-worker, long-term employee...and you get Sgt. Don Guizzo, Anger Management Facilitator/Drill Instructor at Treasure State Correctional Training Center.
Last October 18, 2000, Sgt. Don Guizzo celebrated his 30th anniversary as an employee of the State of Montana. In 1970, Don started as a Counselor I at the Swan River Youth Forest Camp. At that time, the residents were 16-18 year old youths. In 1990, still at Swan River Forest Camp (note the name modification), he became a Counselor I, then Social Worker I, and Social Worker II. The camp was similar to Swan River Youth Forest Camp except that the residents' ages were increased to 18-25. He was an avid boxer as a young man, and was a boxing coach from 1972 to 1990. In 1993, the camp became Swan River Correctional Training Center (another name change) at which he was Correctional Treatment Specialist I, then Anger Management Facilitator.
In 1997, the camp moved to the prison ranch land near Conley Lake and became Treasure State Correctional Training Center. At the time of the move, Sgt. Guizzo says he had a choice of staying in the Seeley-Swan Valley and doing something else, or coming to Deer Lodge. He chose to come to Deer Lodge because he "believes in this program." He has seen more changes while at TSCTC with the upper age restriction being eliminated, and bringing in probationers and female trainees to the program, all good moves in his estimation.
In his Anger Management group, Sgt. Guizzo often has the trainees give one positive and one negative about each trainee in the group. When asked to give one positive about TSCTC, Sgt. Guizzo mentioned the lifestyle changes available to the trainees who really want to make those changes. When asked for one negative about TSCTC, he said he couldn't give me a negative, but rather, a difficulty: "Trying to get the trainees to change their thinking patterns. Usually when they get that, you can see a change in them take place."
Born in Comet, MT (which no longer exists), Sgt. Guizzo grew up in Butte and lived there until 1964, at which time he moved to Condon, MT. He still lives there with his wife, Linda, and plans to remain there during his retirement. Between Don and Linda's families, they have seven children.
Says Supt. Dan Maloughney about Sgt. Guizzo: "For the past 21 years, I have had the opportunity to work and relax in the shadows of the Mission Mountains with Don, and what impresses me most about this person is his ability to make friends and make them feel like someone. Don has worked with the incarcerated felons in this state for over thirty years and there is not a place where you can go that someone doesn't know 'Guizz'. We often think of the number of offenders he has worked with over the years, and how he has helped them, but I know Don raised a lot of employees. Working with Don, they learned a lot about good old fashioned work ethic. Employees young and old are drawn to Don, questioning and learning from his common sense approach to this complex system we work in, and using this as a stepping stone for their own career. I will miss Don as an employee, but I look forward to the future of renewing a long-standing friendship and an occasional trip into the 'Bob' or up into the 'Missions'."
On May 1, 2001, St. Guizzo retired. He enjoys packing up his mules and camping in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. With that and his two horses, mules, boat, snowcats, and lotsa cars (He says he wants a Harley!) - he is looking forward to retirement. He will be sorely missed at TSCTC and his shoes will be tough to fill.