Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Department of Corrections

Quality Assurance Unit -- Program Standards -- Evaluation -- Cooperation With Department Of Public Health And Human Services -- Report

53-1-211. Quality assurance unit -- program standards -- evaluation -- cooperation with department of public health and human services -- report. (1) There is a quality assurance unit in the department of corrections.

(2) In addition to duties assigned to it by the department director or otherwise required by law, the unit shall:

(a) adopt an evidence-based program evaluation tool that measures how closely correctional programs meet the known principles of effective intervention. The tool must measure program content and capacity to ensure the delivery of effective interventions for offenders.

(b) conduct evaluations of programs to reduce recidivism that are funded by the state; and

(c) enforce standards to ensure that programs are using best practices for reducing recidivism, including targeting highest-risk individuals, adhering to evidence-based or research-driven practices, and integrating opportunities for ongoing quality assurance and evaluation.

(3) Subject to the availability of funding, the department may contract with an independent contractor or academic institution to complete evaluations.

(4) The unit shall work jointly with the department of public health and human services to develop standards for quality assurance in behavioral health programs or other clinical programs.

(5) The unit shall conduct regular evaluations of programs operated by the department or under a contract with the department.

(6) The department shall:

(a) develop and maintain a list of evidence-based treatment curriculums to be utilized in programs operated by or under contract with the department with priority being placed on adopting treatment curriculums that are in the public domain and evidence-based; and

(b) report the results of all initial and ongoing program evaluations to the law and justice interim committee in accordance with 5-11-210, including any identified program deficiencies and the department's plan to correct those deficiencies.

(7) After May 19, 2017, the department shall ensure that contracts signed or renewed with providers contain:

(a) minimum program standards that adhere to the evidence-based program evaluation tool adopted as required in subsection (2);

(b) offender eligibility criteria for program entry with the contractor; and

(c) program dosage requirements that conform to evidence-based practices.

History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 390, L. 2017; amd. Sec. 84, Ch. 261, L. 2021.