- Associated Press - Saturday, January 26, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The chief justice of Montana’s Supreme Court says courts are coping with a high workload for now but have been stressed by an increased number of cases.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath told state lawmakers this week that state courts handle about 1,000 cases a day. McGrath says felony cases handled by district courts in the state have grown. He highlighted a 150 percent increase in child abuse and neglect cases in 2018 compared to 2009.

He said those issues also put more pressure on social service agencies and schools in Montana.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that McGrath praised drug and treatment courts as one way to divert people from youth or adult correctional facilities and encouraged lawmakers to continue supporting similar alternatives.

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