In the 2017 legislative session, we published posts in favor of reforming mandatory minimum sentencing and expanding parole. Those measures are back in this session, perhaps with more support, and we’ve submitted testimony in favor of both.
The case is fairly straightforward, and our testimony is brief. Because Missouri’s incarceration rate is so high—8th in the nation—we are on course to need two more state prisons at a cost to build and operate of $485 million over the next 5 years. Giving judges the flexibility to avoid mandatory sentences where there are extenuating circumstances will not only save taxpayers money, but also reduce the burden on individuals trying to piece together their lives.