2019 Montana Chapter 482
This law, signed by the governor on May 10, 2019, mandates that segregation only be used in response to the most serious and threatening behavior, to be used for the shortest time possible, and with the least restrictive conditions possible. It includes standards for the use of both administrative and disciplinary segregation and codifies practices regarding placement in segregation.
The law requires officials to first consider the mental and medical impact that segregation may have on a person and whether there are other appropriate alternatives. The law prohibits women “determined to be pregnant or postpartum” from being placed in segregation—unless there are exigent circumstances. Chapter 482 also requires the department to conduct an administrative review of a person’s status in segregation every seven days for the first 60 days and every 30 days after the first 60 days.
The law includes other parameters for the use of segregation such as mental health status review, supervisory oversight, recordkeeping, conditions of confinement, and release.
Keywords: adseg, mentally ill, mental illness, pregnancy, post-partum, record keeping, direct release, legislation.