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Special-Emphasis - Montana Pre-trial Risk Assessment Instrument (Year One)

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Lewis and Clark
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $156,298)

The State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program is designed to maintain and enhance each state's capacity to address criminal justice issues through collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides support to each state to coordinate and conduct statistical activities within the state, conduct research to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve as a liaison in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.

The Montana State Statistical Analysis Center (MSAC) is located in the Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC). The purpose of the MSAC is to analyze and publish data from its own and other statewide data sources while overseeing the information technology available to both the staff of MBCC and the Board itself. Additionally, the MSAC is responsible for data collection, data analysis, research studies, and reporting of all juvenile and adult crime statistics for Montana. Lastly, the MSAC collects and analyzes crime data from Montana law enforcement agencies, and reports that analysis to law enforcement, criminal justice agencies, state and local policy makers and the general public.

The Montana Board of Crime Control will develop, validate, and implement a pretrial risk assessment tool for use in adult courts across the state. There currently is no objective actuarial risk tool to assist in pretrial detention decisions for adults in Montana. In addition, both county detention and state correctional facilities are facing significant overcrowding putting pretrial defendants, sentenced offenders, and corrections/detention staff at risk. The development, validation, and implementation of a pretrial risk assessment instrument is a key part of efforts that are underway in the state to develop pretrial services and divert offenders to the least restrictive setting possible; while maintaining public safety. Research on and the development of a pretrial risk assessment instrument will assist stakeholders across the state with three main issues inherent in the pretrial decision process. (CA/NCF)

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.

Date Created: September 19, 2017