There is less than a month until the deadline passes for Montana counties to implement Marsy’s Law, the Constitutional initiative that was approved by voters in November that created a victims’ bill of rights.
The Montana Department of Justice launched a website on Tuesday to help law enforcement officers and county prosecutors comply and provide information and resources to victims by the July 1 deadline.
Marsy’s Law provides victims with rights to stay informed about the defendant and the proceedings in the case.
The site includes maps that provide locations and contact information for victims as well as a model ‘Marsy’s card’ that law enforcement and prosecutors can provide to victims.
“Our Marsy’s Law webpage is a one-stop shop for victims, victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors and anyone else interested in how the law works,” said Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. “We want to assist local law enforcement and prosecutors with Mary’s Law implementation to the best of our ability, and this webpage will be a fantastic resource to better ensure compliance.”
Lewis & Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher is preparing to implement the law, including asking for an increase in this year’s county budget to add a full-time employee assisting law enforcement as well as increasing the information-technology budget to improve the case management system.
Gallagher said the county is working to be prepared by July 1, but it will be difficult.
“I think that Marcy’s unintentionally will result in the largest expansion of government in my lifetime. As far as the cost to the cities, and counties, and local agencies. And not a dime of it will be paid by the state legislature," he said.