House Bill No. 83

Introduced By bergsagel

By Request of the Department of Corrections

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act allowing and providing for the regulation of private correctional facilities; and providing an immediate effective date."


A statement of intent is required for this bill to provide guidance to the department of corrections in adopting rules under [section 4]. It is the intent of the legislature that rules adopted by the department ensure public participation in the siting of a private correctional facility, ensure that the design and construction of a private correctional facility be reviewed and approved by the department of administration, and provide that the management and operation of a private correctional facility substantially conform with recognized correctional standards, such as the American correctional association standards.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Policy. It is the policy of the state of Montana to encourage innovative methods to provide the correctional resources necessary to confine persons convicted of crimes. The state recognizes that there may be benefits to confining convicted persons in private correctional facilities operated consistently with public policy.

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through 5], the following definitions apply:

(1) "Department" means the department of corrections provided for in 2-15-2301.

(2) (a) "Private correctional facility" means a correctional facility that is either privately operated or privately owned and operated.

(b) The term does not include a private detention center governed by Title 7, chapter 32, part 22.

NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Private correctional facilities -- confinable persons. (1) An individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other private organization or entity may not construct or operate a private correctional facility unless licensed by the department.

(2) A person convicted in another state may not be confined in a private correctional facility in this state unless the confinement is under and governed by Title 46, chapter 19, part 3 or 4.

NEW SECTION. Section 4.  License -- rules -- inspection. (1) (a) The department shall grant a license to a private correctional facility determined by the department to conform to [sections 1 through 5] and department rules.

(b) The department may grant a license to a nonconforming facility if the department determines that the facility is making satisfactory progress toward substantial conformity with [sections 1 through 5] and department rules and that the interests and well-being of the residents of this state and of the persons to be confined in the facility are protected.

(c) The department may not grant a license to a private correctional facility unless the department determines that the grant conforms to the long-range correctional goals of the department and state.

(d) The department may not grant a license to a private correctional facility until the facility has provided the department with an indemnity bond that indemnifies the state and that is acceptable to the department.

(2) The department shall adopt rules, including minimum standards, for the location, construction, operation, management, and physical condition of private correctional facilities and for the security, safety, health, treatment, and discipline of persons confined in them. The rules must provide for review and approval of facility design and construction by the department of administration.

(3) The department shall at least annually inspect each private correctional facility to determine compliance with [sections 1 through 5] and department rules.

NEW SECTION. Section 5.  Failure to comply with law -- action by department. If the department determines at any time that a private correctional facility does not conform to [sections 1 through 5] and department rules, the department shall notify the chief executive officer and the governing board of the facility. The notice must state the deficiencies and order that they be remedied within a reasonable period of time. If the deficiencies are not remedied within that time, the department may hold a contested case hearing under Title 2, chapter 4, and if the department finds that suspension or revocation is warranted by nonconformance with [sections 1 through 5] and department rules, the department may suspend or revoke the facility's license.

NEW SECTION. Section 6.  Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 5] are intended to be codified as a new part in Title 53, chapter 30.

NEW SECTION. Section 7.  Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.