Montana Public Radio


Audit: Corrections Should Analyze Treatment Effectiveness

Jun 15, 2020

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state Department of Corrections should collect and analyze more data to compare the effectiveness of state and private prisons, to more efficiently place and transfer inmates among facilities and to ensure offenders are matched with the appropriate community corrections services to help reduce their likelihood of re-offending, two state audits recommended.

Aerial view of Deer Lodge, Montana.
Sam Beebe (CC-BY-2) /

A search for a Montana State Prison inmate who escaped from the prison’s work reentry center over the weekend continued Monday.

Sheriff truck.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Missoula County deputies are searching for a suspect in a shooting that left a man in critical condition. The victim was found lying in the road in the Miller Creek area southwest of Missoula at about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Sheriff's office spokesperson Jeannette Smith says officers are searching for Zakai Houck, also known as Kai William, as a person of interest in the shooting.

Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock Wednesday issued a directive aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Montana’s Correctional facilities. But it was dismissed as too little, too late by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana and disability rights advocates.

The Montana Supreme Court weighed in late in the afternoon.

Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court is asking city and county judges to consider releasing from jail as many offenders as they can to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote to judges asking them to review their jail rosters for inmates that could be released.

The state Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force has awarded its first $25,000 grant to Blackfeet Community College to develop what will be the first piece in a statewide tribal network tracking missing Native American persons.

A federal task force created to improve investigations of missing and murdered indigenous people on Mar. 2 announced a series of listening sessions and consultations, including one in Billings.

Missoula Police Department Interim Chief Mike Colyer speaks to the press Feb. 25, 2020 about the department's investigation of a Feb. 12 report from a police officer that his patrol car was fired upon.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Missoula police still have no conclusive evidence that a city patrol car was actually shot last week. The ongoing investigation is raising more questions than answers.


A group of government agencies and Yellowstone county organizations have released a plan they say will cut back on drug-related crime and addiction in the region. 

Brandon Bryant was arrested Feb. 11 for allegedly threatening Missoula city officials.
Missoula County

A man accused of threatening and intimidating Missoula public officials was arrested this week and made his initial court appearance Thursday.

It's a case of alleged harassment that’s forcing public officials to reexamine the delicate balance of freedom of speech and public safety.