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(1) For an exonerated person to receive educational aid the person must submit an application to the department's main office in Helena, Montana on a form made available at the department's main office or on the department's web site. The main office address is: Department of Corrections, 5 South Last Chance Gulch, Helena, Montana, 59620.

(2) The application must be received by the department 30 days before the person incurs the expense for which the person requests payment.

(3) The exonerated person must submit the following items along with the completed application:

(a) the exonerated person's judgment of imprisonment or commitment to the Department of Corrections;

(b) a certified copy of the document that overturned or dismissed the conviction for which the person was incarcerated; and

(c) documentation that the conviction was overturned as a result of postconviction forensic DNA testing.

(4) If the application meets the criteria listed in ARM 20.26.102(2), the department will approve the application. After the application has been approved, the department will send the exonerated person a letter stating the exonerated person is designated as an exonerated person eligible to receive aid at the institutions and for the expenses listed in these rules.

(5) The designation of exonerated person entitles the exonerated person to receive benefits for up to five years from the time the exonerated person begins an educational program that is reimbursed under these rules, but in no instance will the department reimburse the exonerated person beyond the time the exonerated person attains a degree or ten years after the exonerated person was released from incarceration.

History: 53-1-214, MCA; IMP, 53-1-214, MCA; NEW, 2012 MAR p. 1632, Eff. 8/10/12.

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