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Justice Reinvestment in Montana: Overview

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2015
4 pages
After reviewing the history of Montana's "justice reinvestment" initiative, this paper highlights some recent criminal justice trends in the State that will be examined in the coming months.
In June 2015, State leaders agreed to contact the Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to explore strategies for increasing the cost-effectiveness of the State's corrections system. As a result, the State has received funding that includes technical assistance from the Council of State Governments Justice Center in an effort to collect and analyze the State's corrections data and develop cost-effective policy options. Thus far, data analysis has shown that although reported index crimes have decreased in the State, felony offenses have risen sharply in recent years. As a result, the prison population has increased, along with corrections spending. Native-Americans are disproportionately represented in correctional facility populations; and the supervision population has decreased in recent years, but is projected to increase. The justice-reinvestment strategy has been launched in a three-step process. First, it is analyzing data as the basis for developing policy options. Second, it will propose policy options for adoption in legislation. Policies will be developed based on research that identifies the strategies that have been cost-effective in Montana and other States, as shown by scientific evaluations. The third step will be to measure performance under the new policies. 21 notes