DOC: Budget Cuts Will Force Offenders To Go Unsupervised

Budget Cuts Could Add To Montana Jail, Prison Overcrowding Problems | MTPR

It appears the Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Eldon Vail says the DOC will stop supervising 9,000 people due to decreased state budgets.  The group includes property, drug, and non violent offenders.  The most violent offenders and high-level sex offenders, however, will not see a change in supervision or management.  Additionally, inmate beds will be reduced.  One DOC prison will also be closed.

Some worry that crime will increase.

My opinion?  Again, the embattled economy has caught up with the criminal justice system.  It’s interesting what happens when we’re forced to tighten our belts, both individually and collectively.  On an individual level, we spend less on luxury items.  We hope that our sacrifices are enough to pull us through hard times.  If not, we consider more drastic measures, and perhaps (gasp) a total retooling of our spending habits.

Collectively, our weakened economy makes our lawmakers to realize that jailing low-level crimes is an expensive luxury.  I’ve often blogged that incarceration is THE MOST EXPENSIVE solution to crime and punishment.  We can’t afford to blindly warehouse people any more.  It isn’t the answer.

Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.