Missouri is running out of prison space for women, although the state opened a new prison for women just a couple of years ago. In 1990, Missouri had 777 women in prison. Now it has more than 2,000. The new women’s prison at Vandalia and the older women’s prison at Chillicothe have a combined capacity of 1,985. Corrections department spokesman Tim Kniest thinks a mandatory sentencing law has contributed to that explosion in the numbers. Kniest says he has heard no talk yet about building a new prison for women. But he says the department is regularly making adjustments to deal with the population growth among women as well as men.
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