The Law and Justice Interim Committee (LJIC) will meet on January 29 and 30 in Room 102 of the State Capitol, beginning at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29 and continuing at 8 a.m. on Jan. 30.
On Monday, January 29th, the state’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission staff will present a recently released report on the commission’s findings from its 2017 reviews. Then members of the Montana Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission will detail their efforts to ensure access to the court system for all Montanans, which included hosting a series of public forums across the state.
The Monday afternoon agenda focuses on the LJIC’s SJ 25 study of solitary confinement. Specifically, staff from the Department of Corrections will provide an overview of the operation of and practices in the Locked Housing Units at the Montana State Prison. Department staff will also discuss the licensing of youth detention facilities and the operation of state youth correctional facilities In addition, the LJIC will take public comment on those panels and on the SJ 25 study itself.
On Tuesday, January 30th, the LJIC will continue with its HJ 6 study of meth use and opioid abuse. Staff from the Department of Justice will discuss the office’s ongoing AID Montana initiative, as well as any highlights or outcomes from a recent summit on substance use disorders. Several committee members attended the summit in early November 2017 and can also present their perspectives on the topic.
Later in that morning, several local government officials will give an overview of Montana’s existing standards for detention centers (or jails) and discuss current housing practices in adult detention centers operated by the counties. This panel is also part of the committee’s SJ 25 study.
Finally, the committee will spend much of Tuesday focused on several topics of member interest, including a legal background on criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, a panel of sheriffs offering their perspectives on current trends, challenges, and jail populations, and several prerelease and community corrections providers who will talk about current issues and future opportunities for their organizations.
Interspersed throughout the two days will be updates from the Judicial Branch and several executive branch agencies, including the Department of Corrections, the Department of Justice, the Office of the State Public Defender, and the Board of Pardons and Parole.
The agenda also includes time each day for general public comment related to topics under the LJIC’s jurisdiction. Public comment guidelines are available at the LJIC’s website.
The meeting will be streamed live at www.leg.mt.gov and will be broadcast on Television Montana (TVMT). Please check your local channel listings to find TVMT in your area.
For more information about the meeting, including a full agenda and meeting materials, visit the committee’s website or contact committee staff.