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August 19, 2022 10:55 pm

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Native Americans Disproportionately Sent to Prison in Montana: Study


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A new study from the Council of State Governments Justice Center reveals that Native Americans in Montana are more likely to face prison time for certain felonies, spend more time incarcerated and have probation or conditional release revoked than white people, the Daily Montanan reports. Previous work done as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative found that despite making up only 7 percent of the population, Native Americans account for 17 percent of the total prison population and 19 percent of total arrests in the state.

The study found that Native Americans in Montana remain incarcerated for an average of 27.4 days longer than their White counterparts. It also found American Indian people on probation are 1.44 times more likely to have supervision revoked during the first year of supervision and are 1.3 times more likely to have parole revoked compared to similarly situated White people. When it comes to the disparities surrounding incarceration rates among Native Americans for criminal endangerment, the Council recommended the judiciary educate judges about racial disparities driven by use of the criminal endangerment offense and explore the role of plea agreements in exacerbating these disparities.