Program Type: DWI/Drug-Court
Program  Location: Montana
Lead Agency: Billings Adult Municipal Treatment Court
Partners: Partners include representatives from the City of Billings, Community Solutions, Inc. (a privately owned misdemeanor probation office), Office of the Public Defender, Judge, Coordinator, the Rimrock Foundation (a treatment facility) and community charitable organizations.
The Issue: Prevention
Program Target Population: Repeat Offenders

Program Description:

The Billings Adult Misdemeanor Treatment Court (BAMTC) is a hybrid DUI/drug court that handles nonviolent misdemeanor cases, including DUI and aggravated DUI, in order to reduce alcohol and drug abuse cases, lower recidivism rates, and lessen the financial impact on the community. A misdemeanor DUI offense in Montana is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd offense, where subsequent DUI offenses are felonies and are handled by District Court.

After a referral is generated from a BAMTC team member or an outside agency, the coordinator conducts a pre-screening of potential participants. The screening includes verifying eligibility as it relates to the offense(s) charged, gathering criminal history and demographics, setting up appointments for treatment and for meeting the defense attorney, and collecting releases of information.

An attorney from the Office of the State Public Defender meets with each participant to advise them of the legal ramifications and guidelines of entering into BAMTC. The public defender reviews the terms and conditions of the court contract with the offender. Simultaneously, the prosecuting attorney reviews the case to determine the City’s position on allowing the offender to enter the treatment court. 

After meeting with the defense attorney and if the offender feels comfortable with the obligations of the treatment court, they then complete a chemical dependency evaluation to determine the proper level of care.

Once accepted into the program, offenders undergo an initial alcohol/drug test and receive a number for random testing. The treatment provider then develops an individualized treatment plan which incorporates evidence-based treatment for substance abuse and any co-occurring mental health disorders. Treatment includes group and individual therapy, self-help meetings, and completion of Prime for Life and any other specialty classes or therapies recommended. Community charitable organizations are also active stakeholders that allow participants to be active in community service during their program.

While in the program, participants move through three phases lasting a minimum of 12-16 weeks each:

Phase 1: The most intensive phase focuses on drug/alcohol abuse education and prevention,
detoxification and stabilization.

Phase 2: Aftercare and relapse prevention.

Phase 3: Recovery and sobriety maintenance.

Program Effectiveness:

As a result of this program, alcohol and drug abuse will be reduced, recidivism rates will be lowered, financial impact will be lessened and appropriate treatment will be administered so that offenders can lead productive lives as law-abiding citizens.

Montana Drug Court Graduation Shows Success of Program

Six Graduate Billings Treatment Court

Program Cost Effectiveness:


 Sources of Funding:

  • Participants’ fees (weekly fee)
  • Offender surcharge in the court
  • Local/state funding
  • Federal funding  from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

 Factors to Consider When Replicating the Program:

  • Obtain adequate funding
  • Obtain acceptance for treatment approach vs. traditional sanction model

For more information on this program, please contact:

Linda Miller