Officials Support Change in Sentencing

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JEFFERSON CITY - Officials from all three branches of Missouri state government support a study to change the sentencing in the criminal justice system. The Governor, the Supreme Court, and the legislative leaders have appointed a 13 member Missouri Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections. The goal of the group is to research changes and make policy recommendations. The group will be working with The Pew Center on the States. They will be looking at current sentencing laws, prison and probation programs, and recidivism rates.

Many other states that have implemented similar studies have changed their laws by requiring more nonviolent offenders more probation time and drug treatment programs instead of jail time. This leaves more space in jails for more serious crimes and saves the state money.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer said, " We must reform our public safety system in order to reduce taxpayer costs, while making sure we are effectively tough on crime."

Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster said, " I hope this project will lead us toward consensus solutions related to training, education, monitoring, and post-incarceration job placement that will use our resources effectively and will return offenders back into our communities in a productive and safe manner."