A plan to reduce the state’s prison population by not sending so many people back to prison is near passage by the state senate.
Mount Vernon Senator Jack Goodman says Missouri has not been getting better results for the increased funding for corrections in the last two decades, when prison population has doubled. He says studies show about 75 percent of the inmates admitted in 20-10 were returning after violating probation and parole. More than 80-percent of those inmates were on probation or parole for non-violent offenses.
His bill offers incentives for non-violent inmates to stay clean while on probation. Quick and guaranteed punishment is part of it–an immediate 48 hour period in the county jail if they stumble, and up to 30 days total for other violations.
His bill says those under supervision can get 30 days off their probation for each 30 days they stay out of trouble–although they have to serve at least two years of probation. He hopes the incentive curtails violations during those two years–the time when people are most likely to get into trouble. Goodman says a person is far less likely to ever re-offend if they make it through those two years.
One more favorable vote sends the bill to the House.