Court Services

The Court Services team includes four POST-certified Pretrial and Misdemeanor Probation Officers and one Court Services Assistant. The largest program managed under Court Services is the Pretrial Services Program, with each Officer managing a caseload of approximately 100 Defendants at a time. Court Services also includes specialty court supervision services and coordination of the Misdemeanor Probation Misdemeanor Probation Basic training.

Learn more about each program/service below:

Pretrial Service programs are used successfully across the United States to reduce the number of individuals sitting in jail while they wait up to nine months for their trial date. Our Pretrial Services Program saves Lewis and Clark County $120 per day* for each defendant in the Program, improves the rate of court appearances, and enhances overall public safety. We use the  Arnold Ventures  Public Safety Assessment (PSA) to determine the likelihood a defendant will 1) make it to their court date and 2) remain law-abiding while waiting for their trial. The PSA is used by our judges when deciding if individuals should be released while awaiting trial or if they should wait in the jail. To get in to the Pretrial Services Program, the Judge overseeing the defendant's case needs to order them to the program. Once in the Program, one of our Pretrial Officers assists the defendants in connecting to necessary resources, helps the defendants abide by court orders, and makes sure they appear at all their scheduled court dates.

Pretrial Services Program Team
  • Officer Ken Breen, 406-457-8841
  • Officer Jenn Norris, 406-457-8842
  • Officer Tiffany Mowery, 406-457-8843
  • Officer Robert Bussey, 406-457-8847
  • Court Services Assistant, Brandi Spangler, 406-457-8849
Pretrial Services Data

To learn more about pretrial program performance measures and outcomes, visit our Reports and Publications page.

The Honorable Judge Peterson with Helena Municipal Court introduced the Post-Adjudication Supervision Services (PASS) program in 2019 to provide supportive supervision for individuals with behavioral health disorders who are found guilty of their misdemeanor charge(s). CJS allocates one POST-certified Pretrial and Misdemeanor Probation Officer as a PASS Officer. The PASS Officer verifies the offender’s participation in behavioral health services and communicates completed check-ins to the Court. The Court may also allow individuals the opportunity for completed check-ins to apply credit towards their fines and fees. The Court determines the allowable amount to be deducted, but credit typically ranges from $5 to $20 for every hour engaged in behavioral health services. Deductions do not apply to any restitution owed to victims.

Participation in PASS is voluntary, and individuals may choose to pay fines and fees fully or partially. However, if an individual participates, the PASS Officer continues to review needs including housing, transportation, access to food, health care, and other socioeconomic factors, as well as help the individual establish goals and a schedule.

PASS Officer:  Officer Jenn Norris, 406-457-8842

At the request of Judge McMahon, CJS assisted with design and implementation of the Behavioral Health Court, which began accepting clients in March 2023. CJS has dedicated one POST certified Pretrial Officer to assist pretrial defendants in maintaining court orders and expectations and addressing social indicators of health. CJS also serves as a referral source for the Court and is a member of the Behavioral Health Court Steering Committee.

Behavioral Health Court Supervision Officer:  Officer Tiffany Mowery, 406-457-8843

Graduation Ceremony, July 2022Beginning in 2021, CJS dedicated one Pretrial and Misdemeanor Probation Officer to coordinate curriculum, instructors, and schedules for the Pretrial Services & Misdemeanor Probation Basic Academy, which is required by the State of Montana Department of Justice, Public Safety Officer Standards & Training (POST) Council before an individual can be certified as a Pretrial or Misdemeanor Probation Officer. It is a 4-week training hosted annually at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. All curriculum must meet POST standards and includes instruction in topics such as the Montana legal system, case management, substance misuse, mental health, firearms, and officer safety and expectations.

Pretrial Services & Misdemeanor Probation Training Officer:  Officer Ken Breen, 406-457-8841