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Report Details Disproportionate Demographics Of Montana Inmates

(Butte, MT) — A new report released by Western Native Voice and the Prison Policy Initiative is detailing the geography of mass incarceration in Montana. Inmates were counted as residents for where they are incarcerated. But now, the state’s Districting and Apportionment Commission has put an end to what has been termed ‘prison gerrymandering,’ meaning incarcerated persons are now considered as residents from where they were before heading to prison.

Data so far is incomplete only accounting for about 47-percent of the over 28-hundred individuals incarcerated on census day 2020. But as recently released data analysis shows, the native population was less than seven-percent of the overall state population, but accounted for 23-percent of the state prison population as of 2020, which the report says is a startling over-representation of native individuals in the Montana prison system.

Those behind the report say they want both government officials and the general public to take a hard look at the data and see what solutions may be possible.



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