MLSA to Develop Comprehensive No-Cost Legal Services for Victims of Crime

police carMontana Legal Services Association (MLSA), in partnership with the Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC), will implement the Vision 21 Victim Legal Assistance Network (Network), providing comprehensive, wraparound, no-cost legal services for victims of crime through a coordinated network of providers.

The Network will assess crime victims’ legal needs across the state, including on tribal reservations, and design a detailed implementation plan for providing victims with necessary legal services and referrals through MLSA and project partners. Partners will include state agencies, service providers, and legal partners.

The funding will allow MLSA and its partners to provide access to comprehensive, coordinated, and holistic legal services throughout Montana for victims of crime. Crimes ranging from identity theft to elder abuse, financial fraud to domestic and sexual assault leave victims with emotional and physical damage. Add in the need for an attorney, and victims are left feeling overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated by all the needs related to their victimization.

The Vision 21 Network is supported by a grant from the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime to MBCC in the amount of $299,027.  MBCC also contract with Professor Jackson Bunch at the Criminology Research Group of the Social Science Research Lab at the University of Montana to develop the project.

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