Last month, Montana put out a request for bids to build a new 120-bed medium security prison.

This month, Montana has decided to hold off on those plans.

For the next 90 days, Montana’s Department of Corrections will reevaluate its prison population projections, based on reduced recidivism due to a renewed focus on reentry programs.

Rather than rushing into an expensive new project, Montana has decided to wait and see if it is truly needed.

This is a step forward for taxpayers in Montana. Millions in taxpayer dollars are wasted when unused facilities sit empty or are sold at a loss, and as crime rates continue to fall across the United States, and fewer prison beds are filled, there may not be a long-term need for increased capacity.

Three months of study will better ensure that such an important decision is evidence-based and properly considered.