June 19, 2013
Justice Reinvestment Act One Step From Final Passage (2012-05-01)
SCS HCS HB 1525, the Justice Reinvestment Act, has passed both chambers. Because the Senate made minor changes to the version passed in the House, the House must now vote to concur in those changes in order for the bill to be "truly agreed and finally passed" - the roll call vote which would send the bill to the Governor's desk for his signature.
This bill was developed as part of the ongoing project Missouri Supreme Court Judge William Ray Price, Jr. explained during his keynote address to MASW's 110th Annual Conference a year and a half ago. Part of a national effort funded in part by the Pew Charitable Trust and the U.S. Department of Justice, a Missouri Working Group including legislators from both parties, officials from the executive and judicial branches, as well as other stakeholders has formulated this legislation.
MASW has been supportive because it advances our goal of a smarter, less costly, more effective criminal justice system, in which better outcomes are likely for individuals in the system and for our communities.
HB 1525 focuses on greater flexibility in the probation and parole system, which should result in fewer people being incarcerated for minor violations of the conditions of their probation or parole, and increased use of less costly, more effective alternative programs. It also establishes a Sentencing & Corrections Oversight Commission to monitor the outcomes of this legislation and recommend ways to use the cost savings for additional ways to reduce recidivism.
The bill could come up on the House floor anytime in the next few days, so this is a good time to contact your State Representative to urge a "yes" vote. It passed 149 - 0 in the House the first time around.