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Sheriff's Office soliciting volunteers to serve on Victim Impact Panel

Cascade County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 11:34 AM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 13:34:40-05

GREAT FALLS — The Cascade County Sheriff's Office is soliciting volunteers to serve on a new Victim Impact Panel at the Cascade County Detention Center.

The Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the program is part of Sheriff Jesse Slaughter's vision to bring programming to inmates.

Participants will participate in a three-day course on the effects of crime on victims of assault, robbery, sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, drunk and impaired driving, and homicide.

The primary goal of the curriculum is to prevent further victimization by helping offenders become aware of the impact of crime on victims and entire communities.

Though there is no obligation, they ask that participants donate an hour each month to facilitate classes with inmates.

Sheriff Slaughter says that participants do not need to be an expert in any particular field, as these classes generally take on a “guided discussion” format and staff is always nearby.

During this course, participants interact with inmates convicted of some of the above crimes. Sheriff Slaughter also noted that victims of crimes often experience healing by participating in these classes and victim impact panels by being able to confront those convicted of similar crimes.

He said they screen names ahead of time to ensure that if you’re a victim of a crime, you are not subjected to the presence of the offender in your case.

If you are interested, contact Corporal Shelby Watson at 406-454-8098 or swatson@cascadecountymt.gov

They are looking at hosting this course from March 9-11. The course will be open to law enforcement agencies across the state of Montana and our five community volunteers.

You will be required to pass a background check in order to participate.