By Janet Saidi
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.
The program arose out of a 2017 report from the Council of State Governments Justice Center predicting that Missouri would be forced to spend more than $400 million dollars on prison infrastructure if it didn’t invest instead in about $189 million dollars in community services over the next five years.
A task force took the recommendations and developed the pilot plan for Boone, Butler, and Buchanan counties. Missouri Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe led the task force.