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Jacob Johnson

  • Hosted by Montana Legal Services Association
  • Sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
  • Service location Helena, Montana
  • Law school Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Issue area Elder Abuse
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Elder Justice Program

The Project

Jacob provides civil legal assistance to older victims of crime across Montana, focusing on rural areas, while also providing education to service providers, stakeholders, and community members.

According to the Montana State Plan on Aging by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Montana ranked 5th in the nation in 2017 for having the most adults over the age of 60 per capita, with 25.4% of Montana’s population having reached the age of 60 years or older. Of the 33 counties with 60 or older populations in excess of 30%, only 2 have total populations greater than 20,000, while 19 have populations of less than 5,000. Elders in rural Montana are particularly remote and isolated: Montana is the fourth largest state and one of the least densely populated, with just over 1 million people. With so few people scattered over such a large geographic area, it can be difficult and expensive to maintain the infrastructure necessary to support much need healthcare and social services. As a result, rural elders often have less access to services, are more likely to be isolated, and face greater risks of abuse and poverty.

As the expense of access to the justice system continues to increase, it becomes even more important for attorneys to reach underserved populations. Jacob believes that everyone is called forward to contribute what they can to those who need it most.

Fellowship Plans

Jacob will work alongside crime victim attorneys and navigators at Montana Legal Services Association, who help provide holistic services to clients by offering support, advocacy, information and referrals to victims, thereby instituting a consistent human component to help guide victims through the relevant systems and processes. These combined efforts will help elder crime victims to stabilize, recover, and rebuild their lives.

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