By Chris King
In the wake of a series of scandals in the Missouri Department of Corrections, Governor Eric Greitens signed an executive order forming a task force to reform Missouri’s corrections system.
The 21-member task force will be comprised mostly of politicians (such as the governor and state legislators), appointed state officials (such as the director of the Missouri Department of Corrections and a member of Missouri’s Probation and Parole Board), and criminal justice insiders (such as the state’s chief justice, a prosecutor, a public defender and police officers).
It will be chaired by Missouri Director of Corrections Anne Precythe or her designee.
According to the executive order, the task force will be guided by a number of principles and goals, including: maintain a safe and effective correctional system; maintain capacity for our most violent offenders; provide evidence-based interventions to reduce recidivism and deter crime; ensure accountability and set clear performance measures for our criminal justice system; minimize the need to increase prison capacity; and increase public safety through a reinvestment of a portion of any identified savings into other areas of the criminal justice system, or other public systems, which have been proven to reduce recidivism.
The governor ordered the task force shall to produce a written report of their recommendations by December 31 and to develop omnibus legislation based on their recommendations for the 2018 legislative session.