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Missouri Cuts Back Prison Population

July 31st, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Daily Journal reports

FARMINGTON, Mo. — Missouri is leading the nation in reducing its inmate population, thanks to changes in recent years designed to get offenders back on their feet, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday.

In the year that ended June 30, 2006, the number of people behind bars in Missouri declined by nearly 3 percent, the largest percentage in any state. Only eight states reported a decline, according to the Department of Justice.

When Republican Gov. Matt Blunt took office in January 2005, Missouri’s prison population was growing by about two people a day, said Commissioner of Administration Mike Keathley. At that rate, the state would have had to build a new prison every two years.

Instead, Missouri has new supervision centers to house offenders who may have slipped up with probation or parole violations, a re-entry program to help inmates return to society and even tools like a computer program that helps judges determine sentences.

Missouri officials point to the centers as a key factor in the state’s inmate decline.

It might also have something to do with stricter sentencing too…

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