Report: Most Montanans don’t have access to drug courts

BILLINGS (AP) — A new report touts the effectiveness of drug treatment courts but says most Montanans with a drug conviction don’t have access to them.

The report, commissioned by the Montana Healthcare Foundation, calls for an expansion of the state’s treatment court programs. It also calls for an extension of the state’s Medicaid Expansion to continue funding the programs, and other investments by the state.

The Billings Gazette reports there are 36 treatment courts in Montana, including state courts and tribal courts.

But while roughly 1,600 Montanans are eligible for a treatment court each year, current capacity in the 28 non-tribal courts is limited to 564 participants. Participation numbers for the eight tribal courts weren’t provided.

The state provides $1.3 million a year to fund treatment courts.