Montana LWV Criminal Justice Study Additional Background Materials

Montana LWV Criminal Justice Study Additional Background Materials

Additional Study Materials for Montana LWV Criminal Justice Study:

1.  “Incarceration Nation”, 2014, a 5-page summary of the National Research Council report on the United States criminal justice system that compares US criminal justice with other countries.  The US incarcerates 25% of all of those in prison worldwide, although we constitute only 5% of the world’s population.  Characteristics of who makes up the US prison population and suggested changes are also included in the article.

2.  Billings Community Policing Program Ted Talk with Mathew Lennick, 2015 (may have YouTube ads).  11 minute TedTalk by a Billings policeman on efforts to improve community policing in Downtown Billings:

Two editorials from the Billings Gazette on subsequent challenges to the program:  

 PDF icongazette_opinion-_curbing_billings_stre.isis_editorial_billingsgazette.com_.pdf

 PDF icongazette_opinion-_make_room_for_maap_to_.ings_editorial_billingsgazette.com_.pdf

 3.  Montana ACLU Report on Smart Justice, 2019:  (Microsoft Office may ask if this is a trusted site)  The ACLU’s 2019 Blueprint for Smart Justice Montana …….  challenges practices that lead the U.S. to incarcerate more people (per capita and in total) than any other nation.  It documents the growth of Montana’s prison population and the high costs of incarceration both in dollars and lost lives.  It calls for reforms to break the cycle of crime, reduce recidivism, and diminish racial disparities in the administration of justice. It describes Montana’s inadequate treatment for those with mental health or substance abuse problems and warns that a fourth of incarcerations in Montana result from sexual assault offenses.    The ACLU calls for reforms in criminal codes, criminal processing, treatment programs for the incarcerated, conditions of imprisonment, and transition programs post incarceration.

4.  “Seattle Is Dying” Video (1 hour) produced by Seattle TV station, 2019 (May need to log into Google account to access YouTube and confirm age).  This hour-long video presents a hard-hitting critique of Seattle’s homeless population, virtually all of whom are victims of addiction and mental illness.  The last 15 minutes also presents a summary of a successful prison re-entry program in Rhode Island that has a 93% success rate.

5.  Summary Principles of Policing:  Summary of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing  Summary prepared by League Study team member of principles for community law enforcement, procedural justice and “guardian” responsibility for police are summarized.  Also includes United Nations Code of Conduct for law enforcement.   

 PDF iconsummary_principles_of_policing.pdf

Prevention Strategies

6. Butte Truancy Intervention Program Profile:  2 page newspaper story about program in Butte to help children chronically absent from school with support team to identify reasons for truancy and provide help to address these reasons.  Link to article:

7.  “Minneapolis Federal Reserve:  Abstract of Report No. 2018-1:  Early Childhood Development in Montana”

Summary of Report:  The report provides an overview of many programs in MT serving young children. It also reviews some of the preponderance of research documenting the many positive returns on investments (ROI) for high-quality early childhood programs, including lower crime costs, higher school achievement, educational achievement, educational attainment and earnings.  Benefit-cost ratios range from $7-$16 for every $1 invested with public benefits from reduced societal costs and that increased tax revenues were larger than private benefits to children and their families. This report documents the increase in drug use by expectant mothers and parents of young children in Montana and that efforts to curb addiction would help both adults and children and criminal justice system expenses. Perinatal drug exposure increased from 3.7% in 2010 to 12.3% in 2016 (more than 500 infants affected).

Research describes the experiences which hinder healthy development: poverty; exposure to violence, abuse, or neglect; and having an incarcerated or mentally ill parent.

According to research, adverse experience, or "toxic stress, can lead to a brain wired for negligence or threat, which can impair learning, memory, and the ability to self regulate.

 The report has 5 sections that provide data on Montana’s young children, their families, and an inventory Montana’s early care and education programs. A few Montana specific data points outlined in the report are:

*Montana has 73,242 children. Under age 6

*By 2017 only 1,048 of 4 year olds were served by publicly funded pre-school

*Montana is one of 7 states that did not provide state funding for pre-school until 2017 when a pilot program to reach 285 4&5 year old children.

*22% live below the Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG)

*50% below 200% of FPG

*60% of children under age 6 have all parents in the work force

*Hospital costs available for 2009-2013 were $34,000 vs $6,800 for infants affected by opioid exposure

*26% of children under 18 were identified as having 2 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE): e.g. frequent socioeconomic hardship, parental incarceration, violence, living with someone who was mentally ill or with substance abuse problem, etc).  ACE’s are associated with risky behaviors and chronic health conditions.

*Methamphetamines are responsible for 2/3 of foster care cases.

*The # of children in foster care due to parental substance abuse grew from 851 in 201 to 1,658 in 2016.

*Head start reaches on 41% of eligible children

*While some states provide general revenue to supplement Early Head Start (EHS) MT does not.  In 2016, MT EHS served only 13% of eligible children.

*Childcare bills for a family can rival the cost of university tuition.  In MT the average tuition for a 4 year old in full time care is $7,994 ($9,096 of infants), MSU is~$7000/year.

*Only 14% of those eligible for Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship program received subsidies.

*”lack of funding” has limited participation in state quality improvement programs.

*Home visiting programs proven to improve outcomes reached on 17% of children under 20% of poverty.

*Health insurance is often not enough to serve the well-being of young children”—children need pediatric medical homes and dental care”—pg. 23

 Link to the full report: