CONTACT: Amy Barton, (406) 444-0409
HELENA – Justice Reinvestment legislation in Montana directed the Department of Corrections to ensure that all of its correctional programming be evidence-based, which means it must be shown to be effective at reducing recidivism (SB 59 – 2017). The DOC has been working with correctional programming experts at the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute to evaluate current programming throughout DOC and make recommendations to improve their effectiveness.
The evaluators found several strengths of MSP’s Sex Offender Program (SOP), including that the SOP should be commended for the education and experience of program staff. There were some recommendations made to improve the Montana State Prison’s sex offender treatment program. One of these recommendations was to create a dedicated SOP unit. DOC Director Reginald D. Michael announced that the Montana State Correctional Treatment Center (CTC) will transition from an intensive chemical dependency treatment unit to an intensive sex offender treatment program.
(In the 2019 legislature, the legislature directed the DOC to cease using the CTC for substance use disorder treatment, and to instead utilize available contracted beds in community programs for intensive chemical dependency treatment. Montana State Prison will continue to offer chemical dependency treatment, however, it will be provided within the main facility. There will be no staff reduction during the transition, the current staff that provide SOP treatment within the main facility will be utilized.)
DOC is committed to ensuring all programs are evidence based and is using the latest research to offer cutting edge sex offender programing to improve public safety in Montana. “Our security and clinical staff at MSP are dedicated professionals committed to public safety. DOC is looking forward to working with the Corrections Institute as we move forward with this program,” Michael stated. “Our number one goal is to reduce recidivism rates of sex offenders, which means fewer victims of crime.”