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Billings Gazette

Data: Those Diverted from Jail Show up for Court, Remain Law-Abiding While Awaiting Trial

November 20, 2019

Billings Gazette

By Holly K. Michaels

While out of jail pending trial, the vast majority of people who were diverted from county detention facilities under a pilot program have made all their court appointments and remained law-abiding, according to preliminary statistics. Five counties around the state — Lewis and Clark, Yellowstone, Missoula, Butte-Silver Bow and Lake — have tested the pretrial risk assessment program created in the 2017 state Legislature. Ninety-seven percent of nonviolent, first-time offenders who went through an assessment and were released from jail while awaiting their trial made all their court appearances, according to court data from July 2018 to August of this year.

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