Missoula County Commission signs off on jail overcrowding study (KPAX)

By Mike Powers

MISSOULA - The Missoula County Commission have signed off on a feasibility study that will look at ways to ease overcrowding at the local jail, without building a new facility.

The Policy Innovation Lab at the University of Utah will head up what's called a "pay for success" project.  Lab staff will be in Missoula, providing technical support and evaluating local service providers that could be used as a diversion program for non-dangerous offenders.

"They really want to push data-driven social programs and are really wanting to help build the capacity in local governments to do this," Missoula County Commissioner Cola Rowley said. "So, they granted money to the University of Utah to sub-grant to local governments so they could hold our hands through the process and help us figure out how to do it so that we can do it right."

The project is funded by a sub-grant from the federal government which totals about $85,000.