MTPR

Montana State Prison

Gavel.
(PD)

A U.S. appeals court Friday said a Montana judge confused two cases when he mistakenly threw out a lawsuit four years ago alleging that inmates with serious mental illnesses weren't receiving the treatment they need.

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon of Great Falls threw out the lawsuit in 2015 by Disability Rights Montana that claims mentally ill inmates in Montana State Prison were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. 

Montana Capitol.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The long running debate over executing state prisoners is again surfacing in the Montana legislature as two men sit, condemned to die, in Deer Lodge.

PD

A 24-year old lawsuit over conditions at the Montana State Prison could finally be coming to a close Friday.

The ACLU of Montana and the state Department of Corrections are asking a judge to approve a settlement to address conditions at the prison for inmates with disabilities at a hearing in Missoula.

Alex Rate is the legal director for ACLU Montana.

"It’s an unfortunate reality that prisoners who are disabled face all sorts of barriers to accessing programs and accessing physical spaces," Rate said. "And that’s been the situation for many decades - not just at Montana State Prison, but across the country."

State corrections Director Reginald Michael’s at a Capitol press conference July 19, 2017 with Sen. Cynthia Wolken and Gov. Steve Bullock.
Montana Department of Corrections

The Director of Montana’s Department of Corrections had few details on last week’s firing of the warden at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge when state lawmakers asked him about it Monday.

Today's bill signing ceremony at the capitol
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock formally signed a slate of bills today aiming to address the state’s problem of overcrowded prisons.

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