This past week was one of the busiest so far for prosecutors at the Missoula County Attorney’s office. Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks explains.

"It was quite a busy week," Marks said. "We filed 25 new felony cases this week, which is a fairly high number for us. Unsurprisingly, it was a lot of drug fueled criminal activity. Eight of those were actual drug cases. There were a couple pretty serious domestic violence cases, a robbery, a couple felony DUI's, burglary, things like that."

Marks says towards the end of the month, Missoula County will be one of a handful of Montana counties to test out a new process to reduce the jail population.

"Missoula is actually one of the pilot counties for a state effort aimed at getting more inmates out pretrial," Marks said. "That program is probably going to start up here later this month her in Missoula. It is essentially a different screening tool for determining if someone is a good risk to be out while their case is pending."

The new trial program will operate on top of the Missoula Jail Diversion program. Part of the hope behind these programs is to limit jail overcrowding, a problem in most Montana counties.