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New Montana panel looks into child deaths

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A new panel has begun looking into the deaths of children in Montana's child protective services system.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Review Commission is believed to be the first in the U.S. with the power to dig deep into how those deaths happen. The Helena Independent Record reports the commission held its first meeting Thursday.

State lawmakers established the commission last year amid frustration that 28 children since 2015 had died since coming to the attention of Montana's Child and Family Services Division.

The commission has until August to write a plan to reduce child abuse and neglect.

The first meeting focused in part on how the commission will decide which deaths it will review. Commission members include doctors, a tribal representative and a former judge.

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