Missoula Seeing ‘Huge Influx’ of Mental Illness Commitment Cases After State Cuts

On Wednesday, many Missoula County Departments will be discussing the impact of recent budget cuts on their ability to serve the public. County Attorney Kirsten Pabst says she will be discussing at least two major set-backs.

“Our trial expenses, the program that used to reimburse us for expert witnesses, transcripts, witness fees and things like that have basically been gutted,” said Pabst. “We are scrambling now to try and fill that gap and to be able to adequately respond to crime in the community by getting convictions at jury trials. We often need expert testimonies to do that.”

The other set-back is one that mental health providers have already expressed concern over, but now appears to be reverberating in the criminal justice system.