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Mike Batista

Gazette opinion: Leadership needed to reduce returns to prison

Gazette opinion: Leadership needed to reduce returns to prison

About 75 percent of inmates at Montana Women’s Prison arrive addicted to alcohol or other drugs. Drug abuse is at the root of most of their crimes – illegal possession or stealing to support their habits.

July 15, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Gazette opinion: Less room for families in addiction recovery

Gazette opinion: Less room for families in addiction recovery

Billings needs more housing for mothers recovering from drug addictions and for their children. But next week, there will be less when the Center for Children and Families closes Housing Family Matters.

June 24, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Ups and Downs:

Ups and Downs:

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May 04, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Montana’s correctional system almost exceeding capacity, corrections director says

HELENA — The number of criminal offenders in Montana’s correctional system has increased by about 2,000 people in the past year, pushing the system to its limits, state Corrections Director Mike Batista said Monday.

April 28, 2014 6:21 pmLoading…
Group: Montana warehouses mentally ill inmates

Group: Montana warehouses mentally ill inmates

HELENA — Advocates who filed a federal lawsuit over Montana's treatment of mentally ill prisoners say they are optimistic the matter can still be resolved through negotiations with state corrections officials.

March 31, 2014 5:12 pmLoading…
Gazette opinion: End mistreatment of mentally ill inmates

Gazette opinion: End mistreatment of mentally ill inmates

The stories are heart-wrenching. Serious violations of civil rights law are alleged.

March 09, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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ACLU: Montana's mentally ill prisoners are mistreated

ACLU: Montana's mentally ill prisoners are mistreated

HELENA — The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana said Friday that the state prison and hospital have a woefully inadequate system of treating mentally ill prisoners, denying them proper care and violating their rights.

February 28, 2014 5:27 pmLoading…

Gazette opinion: Pay better to prevent prison problems

There’s no shortage of job openings at Montana State Prison. Nearly 50 of 344 corrections officer jobs were vacant in a prison that was housing 1,425 inmates Friday.

January 19, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Montana corrections officials question prison rape survey

Montana corrections officials question prison rape survey

HELENA — A nationwide survey of prisoners found Montana State Prison has one of the highest rates of rapes and sexual assaults, but state corrections officials questioned the report's methodology and said Wednesday it's unlikely the problem is as bad as it seems.

January 08, 2014 2:20 pm Photos

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Pension snafu. An error in the new law that reformed Montana’s Public Employees Retirement System would cause employer and employee contribution increases to disappear too soon and would extend cuts in retiree benefits longer than intended.

June 23, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Search for new warden at Montana Women's Prison continues

The Montana Department of Corrections received nearly 50 applications for the soon-to-be vacant warden position at Montana Women's Prison in Billings, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.

May 22, 2013 2:51 pmLoading…
Budget panel approves most of Corrections' requested spending increases

Budget panel approves most of Corrections' requested spending increases

HELENA — A legislative panel Friday endorsed most of the state Corrections Department’s requested $30 million budget increase for the next two years, but did not approve any pay raise or increased staffing for correctional officers at the Montana State Prison.

January 25, 2013 7:03 pm Related Loading…

Bullock releases Cabinet, staff salaries

HELENA — Gov.-elect Steve Bullock has released the salaries for members of his Cabinet and staff.

January 02, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Bullock names Bucy, Batista and O'Leary as department leaders

Bullock names Bucy, Batista and O'Leary as department leaders

HELENA — Gov.-elect Steve Bullock on Friday unveiled his first three Cabinet appointments, selecting two women and one man to head the departments of Labor and Industry, Commerce and Corrections.

November 30, 2012 11:31 am Photos

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Who might be in Bullock’s cabinet? A few names to consider …

Who might be in Bullock’s cabinet? A few names to consider …

HELENA — As Gov.-elect Steve Bullock prepares to take office in January, he will be appointing his Cabinet and closest advisers, who play key roles in any new governor’s administration and policy shop.

November 24, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Gazette opinion: Help your kids be safe, smart on Internet

Last week, while 150 Montanans were gathered in Billings for the Justice for Children Conference, federal authorities in North Carolina arrested a man on charges of sexual exploitation of a 14-year-old Helena girl.

October 30, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Panel hears bill to override Missoula marijuana law enforcement initiative

HELENA — Law enforcement officials on Thursday supported a bill to overturn Missoula County's 2006 initiative that declared marijuana to be local law enforcement's lowest priority.

February 17, 2011 5:56 pmLoading…

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