Brendan McQuillan needs to be our new municipal court judge.
The incumbent, Kathleen Jenks, is keeping people in jail for being poor, addicts or because of mental health issues. She has created a court that sets up poor people to fail.
• She has split the court into two departments. Two unelected judges split half of the court. This has resulted in a lack of oversight and inconsistencies. The people of Missoula are paying three people to do her job.
• Clients have to show up too many times before a case is resolved. This makes it nearly impossible for someone with a job to have a jury trial.
• Jenks issues warrants when clients miss a court appearance because they are incarcerated or in treatment. This can result in their drivers license being suspended.
• She incarcerates people unreasonably.
• She sets a bond on nonviolent and traffic misdemeanor offenses to prevent defendants from being transferred on their felony warrants. This results in us paying for people to be held in Missoula rather than letting them go to prison, an out-of-county jail or treatment.
• Two unelected judges are presiding over the most important piece of the criminal justice system.
Brendan McQuillan is principled, compassionate and ready to serve.