Montana U.S. Attorney’s Office, Reentry Task Force, Great Falls Chamber host symposium

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana, the Montana Reentry Initiative Task Force and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce will present a program addressing offender reentry initiatives on Friday, Aug. 19.

Montana has a very high recidivism rate, which impacts communities and families throughout the state.  This problem is not unique to Montana, but is prevalent throughout the country, and the work being done in Montana on reentry issues is consistent with the principles of the Justice Department’s national initiative to address reentry issues. These principles include the formulation of individualized reentry plans; educational, employment, life skills, and substance abuse programs during incarceration; resources to maintain and build family relationships for inmates while incarcerated; establishment of halfway house and supervised release programs that cater to the needs of individuals; and the provision of comprehensive reentry-related information and resources necessary for former offenders to succeed as citizens.

The State of Montana has taken a timely and innovative approach to this issue through entities such as the Reentry Initiative Task Force, special drug courts, and veterans’ courts, as well as individualized tribal reentry programs that address the unique needs of former offenders reentering tribal communities. The US Attorney’s Office, representing the Justice Department, is fully committed to assisting in the development and growth of these state and tribal programs.

Friday’s program will cover a broad range of reentry issues, and will include presentations by US Attorney Mike Cotter on the Justice Department’s “Roadmap to Reentry” and related programs, Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Greg Pinski, who will present on veterans’ and drug court programs, and many others.

The program will take place on Friday, Aug. 19, at Heritage Hall at the Great Falls College MSU from 1-4:30 p.m.

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