Montana Criminal Justice Reform Network
What is the Montana Criminal Justice Reform Network?
The Montana Criminal Justice Reform Network is a state-wide collaboration of individuals and organizations commited to criminal justice reform. Connections, a non-profit organization in Bozeman,MT serving individuals who have been incarcerated, began the MTCJRN on October 26th, 2002 with the help of the Western Prison Project. The Western Prison Project is a regional organization dedicated to building a grassroots movement for criminal justice reform.
MTCJRN was formed to bring together grassroots groups and individuals across the state of Montana to address issues concerning prisoners rights, Montana policy and laws concerning the justice system, as well as to educate communities.
The MTCJRN currently has over three thousand members!… Including over a hundred organizations across the state of Montana!
The Voice Project
The purpose of The Voice Project, Voter Organizing for Increased Civic Engagement, is to reach out to ex-felons and their families to educate them about their voting rights. In 2004 we were able to register 819 felons across the state to vote in the presidential election. Since then we have been able to register over three thousand voters and add them to the network. also because of The Voice Project we were able to set our top four priorities to present to legislation.
Good Time Incentive Program
The Good Time Incentive Program saves money and motivates prisoners to work for their release.
Reform Public Defender Program
Assures that all people have adequate access to legal representation.
Funding for Transitional Services
Community based funding to support those leaving prison.
Issue and Concerns of Focus
The goal is to stop the cycle of prison expansion, which has taken place in Montana over the last decade. We feel that prison should be the last resort and funding should be redirected to treatment, community based organizations and crime prevention programs.
Parole Board Reform:
We need to stop the use of long-term prison time for technical parole and probation violations.
The war on drugs has proven to be a costly and ineffective policy. Substance abuse and addiction are health problems and should be treated as such. We are overburdening our prison system with non-violent offenders. In Montana 44% of men and 75% of women are serving time for non-violent offenses, each with no history of any violent offense.
Along with drug laws, parole policy is one of the leading causes of prison growth in our state. We are committed to changing the parole system to help prisoners successfully reenter society. According to the Montana Department of Corrections, about 50% of new admissions in 2006 were parolees who have been sent back to prison for a technical violation (no new crime was committed) of parole.
The Montana Criminal Justice Reform Network Needs Your Support
To become a member of the MTCJRN please contact Connections by mail, phone, fax or email.
Include your first and last name, mailing address, and email. We will add you to our MTCJRN mailing list and you will receive any newsletters, alerts, or up-dates.
As a MTCJRN member it is your choice what projects to take part in, whether it be a letter writing campaign or just to spread information for educational purposes.
The MTCJRN encourages your participation as a member with any ideas, issues, comments or concerns you may have to challenge or change the justice system.
The MTCJRN needs, wants and seeks member participation. Become a member today!
Suggested membership donations:
Prisoners: $5.00 [or equivalent in Postage Stamps]
*If you are an indigent prisoner or low-income and unable to make a donation, you may still become a MTCJRN member.Connections P.O. Box 4142 Bozeman, MT 59772 phone: 406.813.8209 firstname.lastname@example.org