Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Praise for MO's Sentencing System

Speaking of recidivism, a friend passed along this very well done piece on MO’s effective use of guidelines and its sentencing information system to lower and even decrease its prison populations. As we’ve noted before, MO has become the national leader in total bedspace reductions, and its commission should be the prototype for anyone looking for similar accomplishments. The Honorable Michael Wolff, state supreme court justice and chair of that commission, is too self-effacing to praise his own leadership and initiative in getting things done there, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t toot his horn for him. As the state DOC director also notes in the article, that department has been pushing alternatives to incarceration for many offender types as well, proving once again that guidelines may not be the major factor in recidivism reduction if you have a good alternative sentencing system. Both leaders indicate that the central goal and focus is public safety, and their success demonstrates yet one more time that you can get there without shoving everyone and his brother into a cell. Good article.

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