Montana looking to hire Indian parole officers

Helena, Montana (AP) 11-09

The Montana Department of Corrections says it is seeking American Indian applicants for five probation and parole positions specializing in supervision of Indian offenders.

The effort stems from a $925,000 federal grant meant to help an offender population often plagued by mental health problems and addictions.

The corrections department said that Indian offenders have a recidivism rate 33 percent higher than among non-Indian offenders in Montana.

The department wants to reduce those rates by offering Indian offenders the chance to work with officers familiar with Indian issues.

“We believe that those with personal knowledge and understanding of Indian culture, traditions and challenges will be vital to the success of this project,” Ron Alsbury, chief of the department’s parole bureau, said in a statement.

The five officers will be located in the reservation-area communities of Cut Bank, Glasgow, Hardin, Havre and Polson. The deadline for applications is Nov. 30.