missouri prison reform | KBIA

missouri prison reform

Meiying Wu / KBIA

Rethinking the benefit of prisons, Missouri House leaders are backing legislation that could effectively undo mandatory minimum sentencing laws for many nonviolent criminals.

The Missouri legislation reflects a national trend toward more lenient prison terms for some drug offenders and other low-level criminals, as governments shift toward alternative strategies that are focused more specifically on rehabilitation. Missouri's prison population peaked at 33,243 in September 2017 but has since fallen to 30,260, the Department of Corrections said Monday. 

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A three-county pilot program that seeks to improve community services for former prisoners is rolling out in Missouri. Offering an array of so-called “wraparound” community services, the initial $5 million dollar pilot program focuses on services for former offenders with behavioral challenges like addiction or mental health issues.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens does not have to provide the state attorney general with records related to his social media accounts such as private messages and names of blocked users.  The Kansas City Star reports that the office of Attorney General Josh Hawley said in a letter this week that the governor's Twitter and Facebook accounts are not public records. Both Greitens and Hawley are Republicans.  The Star also reported that Hawley's office on Thursday announced it found no open records violations from Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway's office.

Old prison
File Photo / KBIA

A special Missouri legislative committee is offering recommendations on how to reform the state's prison system in response to reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct by corrections employees.

The House Subcommittee on Corrections Workforce Environment and Conduct on Tuesday said its suggestions are meant to eliminate what it said was the hostile employee environment to which corrections workers were subjected.