State Fact Sheet

Public Safety in Missouri



Public Safety Performance Project > State Work > Missouri

In July 2012, Missouri enacted the Justice Reinvestment Act, a data-driven package of reforms to community supervision that will improve public safety, hold offenders accountable, and contain prison spending.

Despite the Department of Corrections recent success at reducing recidivism rates, Missouri’s prisons hold twice as many people and cost three times as much as they did in 1990. With a prison population of more than 30,000 inmates, and a budget of more than $660 million, corrections consumes an increasingly large share of the state budget.

Seeking a better public safety return on its corrections dollars, Missouri’s state leaders reached across party lines and the three branches of government to form the Missouri Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections in 2011.  The Working Group analyzed Missouri’s sentencing and corrections data, researched evidence-based practices in community supervision, and developed recommendations to address the leading driver of Missouri’s prison admissions: failures on probation and parole supervision. 
The Justice Reinvestment Act, sponsored by Representative Gary Fuhr and Senator Jack Goodman, passed with near-unanimous support and was signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon on July 6, 2012. The legislation, based on the recommendations of the Working Group, seeks to reduce recidivism and strengthen community supervision by:

• Providing incentives for offenders to comply with the rules of supervision;
• Allowing probation and parole officers to impose swift and certain jail sanctions when violations do occur;
• Ensuring that punishments are proportional to violations by capping the amount of time that nonviolent offenders can serve for breaking the rules of probation; and
• Creating an oversight body responsible for monitoring implementation and certifying fiscal savings for reinvestment.

The Justice Reinvestment Act is expected to reduce the number of people under correctional control and save taxpayers several million dollars.

Fact Sheet | June 6, 2012
Time Served in Missouri  arrow

Poll | March 2012
Survey of Public Attitudes on Justice Reinvestment in Missouri  arrow

Fact Sheet | January 2012
The Price of Prisons  arrow  

Report | December 2011
Consensus Report of the Missouri Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections  arrow

Fact Sheet | March 2, 2009
1 in 31: The Long Rearch of American Corrections   arrow  


Oregon News

Media Coverage | July 6, 2012
Market Watch: Pew Applauds Missouri Leaders for Enacting Public Safety Reforms
Governor Jay Nixon today signed a package of corrections reforms into law, advancing a set of data-driven policies that are designed to improve public safety, hold offenders accountable, and cut corrections costs. arrow

Media Coverage | July 6, 2012
NECN: Nixon Signs Changes to Missouri Sentencing Laws
Drug abusers, thieves and other nonviolent felons could shorten their sentences with good behavior under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon that is intended to reserve the state's prisons only for the most dangerous and persistent criminals.  arrow

Media Coverage | May 7, 2012
 Columbian Missourian: WHAT OTHERS SAY: General Assembly Takes Small but Important Step Toward Prison Reform
To borrow a phrase from Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price Jr., the ball of judicial reform now is rolling. arrow

September 28, 2012
Public Safety Performance Project
One in 31