MTPR

Montana Department of Justice

Shards of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as crystal meth.
Radspunk (GFDL)

Lawmakers in Helena are calling for what’s being billed as the “Montana Meth Summit”, a gathering of lawmakers and government officials to talk about the impacts of meth in Montana. Senator Eric Moore, a Republican from Miles City, and Senator Diane Sands, a Missoula Democrat, stood in the Capitol Tuesday afternoon, as they announced a listening session to discuss the trends of meth use across the state.

According to a report by the Legislative Fiscal Division, Public Defender workload of abuse and neglect cases has increased 50 percent since fiscal year 2014.
(PD)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers agreed today to fund new judges for Montana’s burdened court system. But, as lawmakers focus on cutting spending statewide, the future of other services in courts are uncertain.

Budget Cuts Threaten Human Trafficking Investigations

Jan 11, 2017

Possible budget cuts to the Department of Justice could force investigators to cancel proactive investigations into allegations of human trafficking in Montana. It was just one of the impacts brought to lawmaker’s attention if a 5% budget reduction is adopted.

The 2017 Legislature is faced with a dwindling savings account and slower revenue growth as they work to balance the state’s budget for the coming biennium. Joint House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees are delving now into the agency’s budgets.


Dr. Phil Kinsey, director of the Montana State Crime Lab, explains rape kit testing protocols to the task force.
Mara Silvers

Montana is getting a $2 million federal grant to help clear its backlog of so-called rape kits.

Attorney General Tim Fox made the announcement today. He says it will allow the state crime lab to process 1,100 boxes of evidence in sexual assault cases dating back to 1995. Testing the kits could result in suspects being identified in some unsolved rape cases.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

State lawmakers on Tuesday heard that there is a $300,000 problem with the state’s new crime lab. It’s set to open in Billings in May.

Montana’s Justice Department joined 35 other states this week in support of guidelines aiming to reduce prescription drug addiction.

New West Health Services is sending out notices to 25,000 customers after a data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of current and former New West customers.
(PD)

A pair of bills intended to increase privacy in the digital age are making their way through the Montana legislature. They were each heard today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will vote on them later.

Bills On Privacy While Driving Heard At The Montana Legislature

Feb 9, 2015
Daniel Zolnikov (R) HD 45
Montana Legislature

Today at the Montana Capitol, legislators heard about privacy.

Brian Kahn talks with Dana Toole, Bureau Chief of the Children's Justice Bureau in the Montana Department of Justice, and Rep. Jenny Eck, member of the Montana Legislature. The topic: initiatives at the DOJ to improve how the department responds to victims of child sexual abuse, and prevention strategies.

State Lawmakers Consider Increased Sentences For Felony DUI

Jan 15, 2015
Keith Regier (R) SD-3
Montana Legislature

State lawmakers are considering a bill to give judges an additional tool for repeat DUI offenders.

House Bill 111 could increase the sentence for a felony DUI conviction. A felony DUI is a 4th or subsequent conviction.

Currently these offenders serve a 13 month sentence that may not include treatment.

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