These bills are the culmination of a months-long justice reinvestment process in the state that began in June 2017 with the goal of addressing a number of significant criminal justice challenges, including recent upticks in violent crime, insufficient behavioral health treatment resources, a fast-growing female prison population, and high recidivism.
Among other changes, the proposed legislation calls for
- Creating a grant program through the Missouri Department of Public Safety that provides funding and analytical assistance to local law enforcement agencies to address challenges with violent crime;
- Establishing and implementing a community behavioral health program to provide comprehensive community-based services for people under supervision who have serious behavioral health conditions;
- Providing gender-responsive and trauma-informed supervision strategies and programs that reflect best practices for females under correctional control; and
- Ensuring that parole release decisions are informed by the results of risk and needs assessments.
Stakeholders from across Missouri’s criminal justice system have provided input and support for the legislation, and both bills are currently under consideration by members of the Missouri House and Senate.
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