Montana Board of Crime Control

Musselshell/Golden Valley/Witness Program - Survivor Assistance Dog Pyper

Pyper in court

Tami Allen, Musselshell Golden Valley Victim/Witness Advocate; Pyper, Facility Dog; Laura Obert, MBCC Board Chair
Tami Allen, Musselshell Golden Valley Victim/Witness Advocate; Pyper, Facility Dog; Laura Obert, MBCC Board Chair

The Musselshell Golden Valley Witness Assistance Program was created in 2007 to provide comfort to reduce a victim’s anxiety, resulting in more accurate interviews, interaction with both prosecution and defense, and ease the stress for victims of violent crime as they prepare to testify and testify in court. The human-animal bond is strong and evidence of its power is being seen in medical and law enforcement offices throughout the country. Pyper’s presence in the court room and with victims creates a more humane and efficient system that enables all to accomplish their work in a more positive and constructive manner. Since 2010, Pyper has attended over 25 forensic interviews with children, attended nine rape examinations with adult victims; attended 11 emergency medical treatments after victimization and has attended court hearings with 22 child victims in addition to logging hundreds of hours in the courtroom attending arraignments, change of plea hearings and sentencing hearing.

Pyper is available to every agency throughout Montana and routinely travels to assist victims as they prepare to testify in court.

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Eastern Montana Drug Prosecution Coordinator

Laura Obert, MBCC Chair; Diane Cochran, Drug Prosecution Coordinator; Kathy Granger, Project Director; Bruce Barstad,Glasgow Police Chief
Laura Obert, MBCC Chair; Diane Cochran, Drug Prosecution Coordinator; Kathy Granger, Project Director; Bruce Barstad,Glasgow Police Chief

Eastern Montana Drug Prosecution Coordinator was a successful a program previously located in Glasgow, Montana. The program was established to serve as an expert resource to provide assistance to law enforcement, prosecutors and judges of northeastern Montana where the ability to specialize is severely limited by the size of the average county attorney office. The Eastern Montana Drug Prosecution Coordinator developed an online brief bank and completed a Drug Prosecution Manual which included detailed information and examples on confidential informants, probable cause, search warrants, charging and sentencing, forfeiture and applicable forms. On-site training and consultation with eastern Montana County Attorneys was also provided through this program.

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SAFE Harbor

SAFE Harbor logo

SAFE Harbor serves a rural area covering over 1.3 million acres on the Flathead Reservation, which includes Lake County and has a population of 29,000, with 4,400 children in public schools, 150 in private schools and 40 being home schooled. More than 9,200 American Indians, from a variety of tribes, including the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the governing tribe for the area, live on the reservation. It is the only shelter and domestic violence advocacy program between Missoula and Kalispell. Serving a diverse client base, populated by numerous tribal groups while representing a broad geographic area, the program has evolved as a victim-centered agency focused on crisis intervention, shelter services, legal assistance, personal advocacy, emotional recovery and long-term client success.

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Montana Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission

Matthew Dale, Coordinator of MT Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission and Laura Obert, Chair, Montana Board of Crime Control
Matthew Dale, Coordinator of MT Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission and Laura Obert, Chair, Montana Board of Crime Control

Laura Obert, Chair, Montana Board of Crime Control and Joan Eliel, Hope Card Administrator
Laura Obert, Chair, Montana Board of Crime Control and Joan Eliel, Hope Card Administrator

The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission is an agency under the Department of Justice whose goals are to identify gaps in Montana’s system for protecting domestic violence victims and to better coordinate multi-agency efforts to protect those most at risk of domestic homicide. The Commission conducts reviews across the state in order to better understand the impact of domestic violence fatalities among Montana families and communities. The Commission members are appointed by the Attorney General and include representatives from federal, state and private agencies, the medical and mental health community, law enforcement and the courts, Native Americans, the legislature, and the MT Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

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Glasgow Police Department Misdemeanor Probation/Victim Witness Project

Award photo

Since 2009 the City of Glasgow Police Department Misdemeanor Probation Project has been an unquestionable success. The Misdemeanor Probation Officer (MPO) has a caseload of 25-35 persons who were convicted of Partner Family Member Assaults and Violations of Protection Orders. The MPO holds offenders accountable for their crimes by completing exhaustive pre-sentence investigations, tracking compliance with sentence requirements, establishing MPO supervision fees, and working with applicable community based services groups. The Misdemeanor Probation Project and the Victim Specialist Project form a unit that ensures victim safety and offender accountability. The project is an integral part of the community-based philosophy that the City of Glasgow and partnering agencies have adopted.

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University of Montana Criminology Research Group

Dusten's Award
Dusten's Award

CRG Team
CRG Team

The goal of the Criminology Research Group (CRG) is to foster a collaborative effort between University of Montana professors, faculty, students and outside institutions to conduct active meaningful research in the field of criminology. A core function of the CRG is to provide the opportunity to promote student learning through applied research. The Social Science Research Laboratory (SSRL) strives to provide the CRG, as well as The College of Humanities and Sciences as a whole with a quality research and learning environment.

The CRG is led by Sociology Professors Dusten Hollist, James Burfeind, Daniel Doyle, and Jackson Bunch, and SSRL Administrator Chuck Harris. From the inception, the CRG has involved graduate and undergraduate students in grant funded research. The CRG is founded upon the belief that student learning through research is an essential component of the learning experience at the University of Montana.

The CRG has been active within the SSRL since the fall of 2009, meeting once a week under the direction of Professor Hollist. The SSRL has been in operation since its inception in 1987 and has been expanding its influence ever since.

The CRG has collaborated with members of the Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) at the Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) on a series of grant-funded projects. These projects have provided explanations for the mechanisms that contribute to minority overrepresentation in the Montana Juvenile Justice System. The research has also focused on evaluating and improving the process associated with and tools used to evaluate juveniles who are being considered for confinement in secure detention in our State. This work is responsible for the development of the first ever automated Detention Rsk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) to be used in Montana.

Student members of the CRG have gone on to be admitted into some of the top-ranked PhD sociology research programs in the country and have taken leadership positions within criminal justice research agencies in Montana. The CRG is proud to represent the College of Humanities and Sciences and the University of Montana in this capacity.

The SSRL occupies three rooms, Social Science 258, 259, and 262. The SSRL serves the research needs of staff and faculty, offers programs and space for classes, seminars, and tutorials, and provides hands-on computer training with more than 30 current computers and two well-appointed presentation podiums.

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Alliance for Youth

Alliance for Youth logoThe Alliance for Youth is a community collaboration formed on April 4, 1990 by merging two existing coalitions, the Community Core Team, Inc. and the Making the Grade Task Force. The Community Core Team was established in 1982 to provide a network of community officials, organizations and citizens to address underage alcohol and other drug use. The Making the Grade Task Force was established to address underage alcohol use. Through community partnership Alliance for Youth has provided pro-social opportunities, resources and education to advance healthy youth development for over 20 years. The mission of Alliance for Youth is to connect community resources and provide opportunities for children, families and teens to advance their healthy development. The Alliance for Youth has collaborated with the Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) on a series of grant-funded projects that include, but are not limited to: Skills for a Health Future; Bright Futures for High Risk Youth; Rural Violence and Bullying Prevention; Social Responsibility Training; Intergeneration Prevention; and many more. Recently Alliance for Youth University of Montana and MBCC are undertaking the challenge of improving Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) in Cascade County and throughout Montana.

DMC exists in Montana and particularly in Cascade County at points of arrest and secure detention. The project goal (long-term) is to improve DMC in Cascade County and Montana. The overall project design is three-pronged. The project will enhance the capacity of state/local DMC Committees to sustain stakeholder engagement and to develop and accomplish DMC Reduction Strategic Plans. State/local Committees will implement a DMC Reduction Model within 12 months. Through completion of a DMC Point of Arrest Study, the project will inform state and local stakeholders regarding factors contributing to DMC at point of arrest and enable identification and implementation of an evidence-based intervention at point of arrest. The project will also accomplish an evidence-based intervention at point of secure detention for an identified American Indian population with disparate detentions (juveniles on Probation with runaway history or at high risk for runaway). Strong collaboration exists and will be strengthened between MBCC, the University of Montana and Alliance for Youth to accomplish the Project goals, objectives and state and local strategies.

Alliance for Youth have several policy and programs that have been implemented in order to reduce disproportionality at point of arrest and detention, reduce the use of unnecessary detention, and interrupt the cycle of repeat offenders within Cascade County. One program in particular is a newly implemented curriculum that is being administered through Youth Court Services. Two youth Probation Officers have been trained in the Cognitive Change Curricula are administering classes that target specific offense types (PFMA, Assault, & Theft) within our Jurisdiction with a curriculum developed through NCTI - National Training and Curriculum Training Institute. Probation Officers, Bloomgren and Riphenburg, are administering several class types including: Anger Management 1 & 2, Misdemeanor Offense Class and Shoplifting Classes for the offense types discussed above. Every other month a class is conducted. Once the class is completed Bloomgren and Riphenburg complete 30 and 60 day follow up call with the participants/clients.

In this program the probation officer will do the following: instruct individuals in clarifying the relationship between values, attitudes, and behaviors; implement an array of cognitive behavioral and offense specific curricula for juvenile and adult individuals; assist the client in identifying their own learning styles using NCTI’s Real Colors® Personality Instrument; facilitate the group process using cognitive behavioral techniques; construct open-ended questions to elicit an intrinsic commitment to change; use group process techniques to involve even the most disinterested individuals; and use the Personal Awareness Journal™ as a tool to reinforce cognitive learning.

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