- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A national research organization has agreed to provide staff to study Montana’s corrections system and identify ways to save money and reduce recidivism.

Members of Montana’s Legislative Council on Thursday approved $40,000 for the Commission on Sentencing to outline goals for the study.

It will be the state’s first comprehensive study of its penal system in 18 years. State officials say the prison population could exceed capacity by November.

The state requested help from the Council of State Governments Justice Reinvestment program after Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill requiring a corrections study, but vetoed its funding. The council accepted the state’s application on Friday. Funding for the sentencing commission work comes from legislative interim reserves.

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