Montana Department of Corrections budget cuts may invite litigation, cost more long term
Published 17 days ago by The Billings Gazette

The grounds at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge are pictured here in this file photo.

Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City is pictured in this file photo.

In this file photo, the Montana State Prison is shown in Deer Lodge.

The grounds at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge are pictured here in this file photo.

Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City is pictured in this file photo.

In this file photo, the Montana State Prison is shown in Deer Lodge.

The Montana Department of Corrections could be forced to make budget cuts it says would impact every aspect of its operations and cost the agency more money in the long run.

“These are absolutely going to substantially cost the department more,” Adrianne Cotton, government relations director, said.

The Department of Corrections, one of the three agencies that make up 85 percent of the state budget, is bracing to make $40 million in cuts over the next two years and eliminate 45 full-time employees, with potential to replace eight in other positions. The proposal cuts deeply into the department’s essential services and would likely impede its ability to provide legally mandated services for youth, comply with national standards on overcrowding, encourage lawsuits and ultimately risk the safety of both employees and the public.

State agencies were asked to recommend 10 percent ...

Added: 17 days ago