MTPR

Beth McLaughlin

Gavel.
(PD)

When the roughly 10 percent of adult Montanans with a substance-use disorder commit a crime, the state lacks enough drug courts to help them stay out of incarceration and navigate treatment. That’s according to a new report on Montana treatment courts released Thursday.

Most, about 90 percent, of those Montanas with a substance-use disorder aren’t receiving treatment for their illness.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

Montana’s Supreme Court has appointed six more judges to the state’s year-old asbestos claims court.

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Libby asbestos disaster hit national news, but many Montanans affected by it are still fighting for reparations in the courts, with no end in sight.

A new law passed last year aimed at easing overcrowding in Montana’s jails isn’t rolling out as fast as some state officials had hoped. But it could be put into effect in the coming months.

The new pretrial release plan would allow the state to let some people, who are not a risk of skipping their trial or committing another crime, to stay out of jail.

Crystal Methampetamine, or "meth."
File photo (PD)

Montana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with state agency workers and members of the public convened in Helena Saturday with one big problem to discuss.

"Without question, everyone in here, in this room, every citizen in this state, every resident of my community is affected by methamphetamine."

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

As the state faces a budget shortfall, lawmakers in Helena are asking departments across the state to trim their spending. But the judicial branch says its caseloads are increasing, and it needs more funds.

Between 2014 and 2015 the number of cases of child abuse and neglect in district courts rose by 700, according to testimony from court representatives.

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