February Update 2017

Happy Valentines Day Everybody,
 We are definitely hitting the ground running this year. We have been refunded for our Prevention work and was given a big raise on that contract. We also acquired a second grant for even more money to do street outreach work with injecting drug users. We have a bill SB 228 that is asking to change the paraphernalia law exempting certain people that provide syringe exchange services from drug paraphernalia laws: amending section 45-10-107, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date. This law change would really help me and my crew when were working the streets. I am going to set up a survey online and also a petition people can sign that are in favor of this change so that we can present them at the hearing when the bill comes up. I’m hoping you guys can get family and friends out here to help with this project. They can check out our website mtconnections.org and also like us on our face book page at mtconnections. Also they can call, email or text and I am happy to walk them through the process.
After some checking I found that we had some wins and some losses last year. The wins were in Parole Board reform and the creation of a sentencing commission. The losses are in enhanced registration requirements and rehabilitation. Were concerned about the registration requirements as they are hard to follow and the new Tier 3 housing limitations II fear will only lead to more tragedy. The supervision fee case is still alive, we are trying to reach as many of you as we can to get you your money back. If you were on parole or probation anytime from 2001-2009 and required to pay supervision fees you qualify for our class action to get your money back. If you were sanctioned, revoked, jailed or threatened that’s an extra $1000 a day. So please let me know and I will send you the form. Also do you have any information on people being turned down for housing, families being evicted or rent agreement terminated due to a criminal record. If you were denied employment that requires a permit or license I would like to hear about that as well. It would be helpful to know if any of you had education denials because you were a felon.
We are in need of Advisory Board members from every facility. It seems a lot of our members are getting paroled these days, which I am always glad to see but that means we need to fill those spots. Just to remind all of you, to be on our Advisory Board you must be a prisoner in one of the institutions in the state. You have two jobs as a member 1.) let others know about us and what we are working on 2.) let us know what issues need to be addressed from out here. In exchange we will send you an update every month and a newsletter as they come out. We will also send you any ALERTS that may go out, any surveys that need to be done and anything else that may come up. I hope you will consider coming on the Advisory Board. If we don’t get your help there is really nothing we can do because without you we don’t know what needs to be addressed. Change does take a lot of time and I definitely fell ya when you say nothing is going to ever change. Your right it won’t unless you have a heart to stand up and help. So please consider doing something different that you maybe haven’t ever done before and stand strong with us to make “any positive change” within this broken system.
That about sums things up for now. I hope you are all doing well. We wish you many blessings and please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Connections  Box 4142 Bozeman, MT 59772  406-813-8209  406-451-9995