- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Helena is encouraging American Indian tribes to do more to reintegrate tribal inmates into reservation communities after they’re released.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Lahr told Montana’s Reentry Task Force on Wednesday that his office is helping tribes create teams of four to eight tribal members to support Native Americans returning from prison.

The groups would alert their communities when a tribal member completes his or her sentence, conduct pre-employment screenings and help former inmates find work.

Lahr says tribes need guidance from trained personnel like members of the state’s own re-entry team that was formed in 2013.

About one in five Montana inmates are Native American. The most recent data available shows that in 2009 Indians were 33 percent more likely to return to jail than non-Indian offenders.

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