_________ Bill No. _______
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act requiring a judge to consider alternatives to incarceration; and amending section
WHEREAS, budget considerations require prioritization of the use of limited prison space for high-risk and repeat offenders; and
WHEREAS, a potential for reducing recidivism may be realized by encouraging judges to select options that aid people in coping with drug, alcohol, and mental health problems outside of the prison system.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 46-18-102, MCA, is amended to read:
"46-18-102. Rendering judgment and pronouncing sentence. (1) The judgment
shall must be rendered in open court.
(2) If the verdict or finding is not guilty, the judgment
shall must be rendered immediately and the defendant shall must be
discharged from custody or from the obligation of his the defendant's bail bond.
(3) (a) If the verdict or finding is guilty, the sentence
shall must be pronounced and a judgment rendered within a
(b) When the sentence is pronounced, the judge shall clearly state for the record
his the reasons for imposing the sentence.
The judge shall also clearly state for the record that the judge considered all available alternatives to incarceration,
including those provided in 46-18-201(1)(a)(i) and (1)(a)(ix) through (1)(a)(xi). If incarceration is imposed, the judge shall
state why incarceration was chosen instead of one of the available alternatives."