HELENA - The state Corrections Department will push for a number of changes to Montana law in the upcoming legislative session, with proposals ranging from changing the laws surrounding execution to making sex between staff and inmates a crime.
Following is a list of the agency's proposed legislation to date, as explained by Corrections Director Rick Day:
n To provide that corrections staff may not have sex with inmates, even if there's consent from the inmate. Day said there haven't been any recent problems of sexual abuse, but Montana is one of the few states in America without such a law.
n Clarifying that federal inmates may not be housed in a Montana prison. Day said the legislation will "close the loophole" that could allow private prisons to import inmates to the state for profit.
n To change youth court and crime laws. The proposals include allowing emergency population caps at youth facilities and allowing district court judges to sentence children as adults, then revisit those sentences when the offenders turn 21.
n To expand a pilot program that allows district courts to try new and creative methods to deter juvenile delinquency. The plan would expand the program now in two courts to 10 courts.
n To specify that a coroner, rather than a medical doctor, pronounce death of an inmate during state executions. The current law requiring physicians to pronounce death runs contrary to the oath doctors take to preserve life.
n To make it a crime for a prisoner to throw bodily fluids on another person.
n To allow more alternatives for sentencing and criminal supervision.
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