Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Department of Corrections

Montana Criminal Justice Oversight Council -- Duties -- Membership

53-1-216. Montana criminal justice oversight council -- duties -- membership. (1) There is a Montana criminal justice oversight council. The council consists of 16 members as follows:

(a) (i) two members of the house of representatives, one selected by the speaker of the house and one selected by the house minority leader; and

(ii) two members of the senate, one selected by the president of the senate and one selected by the senate minority leader;

(b) one district court judge selected by the chief justice of the Montana supreme court;

(c) the director and the deputy director of the department of corrections;

(d) a county sheriff and a county attorney appointed by the attorney general; and

(e) the following individuals appointed by the governor:

(i) one member of a federally recognized Indian tribe located within the boundaries of the state of Montana who has expertise in criminal justice;

(ii) one member of the board of pardons and parole;

(iii) one member who represents the office of state public defender;

(iv) one representative of crime victims;

(v) one representative of civil rights advocates; and

(vi) two representatives of community corrections providers, one of whom must represent a treatment facility and one of whom must represent a prerelease center.

(2) The legislative services division shall provide clerical and administrative staff services to the council.

(3) The council shall elect a presiding officer.

(4) The council shall:

(a) review the recommendations of the commission on sentencing established in Chapter 343, Laws of 2015;

(b) receive and analyze data collected by agencies and entities charged with implementing the recommendations of the commission on sentencing and that are collecting data during the implementation and management of specific recommendations;

(c) assess outcomes from the recommendations the commission on sentencing has made and corresponding criminal justice reforms; and

(d) request, receive, and review data and report on performance outcome data relating to criminal justice reform.

(5) Data evaluation performed by the council must:

(a) assess the current electronic records utilized by criminal justice agencies;

(b) review and list all variables collected in each agency's information management system;

(c) establish a baseline for historical data comparisons;

(d) determine whether data is linked to specific offenders through a unique identifying factor;

(e) review archival data and agencies' data retention policies;

(f) determine whether presentence investigation reports are completed electronically in the department of corrections' case management system within established statutory timelines;

(g) review any established data protocols for pretrial services;

(h) assess if the data collected or recommended to be collected on offenders and programs will provide criminal justice agencies, the legislature, and the public adequate information to determine whether correctional programs produce standardized outcomes across the state and are an efficient use of state resources; and

(i) review and suggest improvements for behavioral health screening instruments and other screening instruments as needed to ensure the integrity of data that is captured in criminal justice agencies' information management systems.

(6) The council shall examine the feasibility of creating and maintaining a public portal through which criminal justice data can be accessed, including data on court case filings, correctional populations, and historical and legacy data sets.

(7) The council shall submit a report to the governor and legislature, as provided in 5-11-210. The report must include:

(a) a description of the council's proceedings since the previous report;

(b) a summary of savings from criminal justice reforms and recommendations for how the savings should be reinvested to reduce recidivism;

(c) a description of performance measures and outcomes related to criminal justice reforms; and

(d) a narrative of the council's progress on establishing data collection and uniformity standards and any changes that have been implemented as a result of the council's work.

(8) The council may appoint a working group to track any legislation resulting from criminal justice reforms and to perform other detailed analysis as directed by the council. If appointed, the working group shall meet regularly and report to the council as the council requires. The working group may include representatives of criminal justice agencies and key constituencies that are not members of the council.

(9) Using the process established in legislative rules for executive agency legislative requests, the council may request legislation to enact changes to the state's criminal justice system that the council finds necessary.

(10) The judicial branch, the department of corrections, the department of public health and human services, the board of pardons and parole, and the legislative services and fiscal divisions shall provide data and information as requested by the council.

(11) Appointments made under subsection (1) must be made within 60 days after July 1, 2019. A vacancy on the council must be filled in the manner of the original appointment.

(12) Council members must be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in 2-18-501 through 2-18-503. Members of the council who are full-time salaried officers or employees of this state or any political subdivision are entitled to their regular compensation. Legislative members must be compensated as provided in 5-2-302.

(13) The council shall provide updates to the law and justice interim committee and the legislative finance committee as requested.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 404, L. 2019; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 240, L. 2021; amd. Sec. 85, Ch. 261, L. 2021; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 382, L. 2021.