MTPR

Montana Board of Crime Control

In an effort to keep people from returning to jail and prison, the 2017 Montana Legislature approved $400,000 in funding for a pilot program to help former inmates find stable housing when they’re released.
(PD)

Misti Liberti had few available housing options when she was released from jail last fall. Liberti sometimes resorted to couchsurfing with acquaintances she knew before her jail sentence; a big  gamble for someone who has spent years battling chemical dependency.

"When I got out I was kind of at the mercy of staying with people, and you put yourself in a risky environment sometimes. You just go back to what’s familiar," she says.

Missoula County Property listings by price range.
Missoula Organization Of Realtors

Missoula County is developing a pilot program to help former prisoners find housing.

No small task in a community with a notoriously tight and expensive rental market.

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.