MTPR

Montana Commission on Sentencing

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.

The Montana Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill to help people get housing after they are released from prison.  The bill’s sponsor said taxpayers foot the bill, but the cost can be reduced.

Senator Cynthia Wolken, D-Missoula, said the Department of Corrections reported as of this morning about 120 people have been granted parole.