View Full Version : mandatory 85% is getting lowered to 75% in Missouri...?

05-05-2005, 11:12 PM
I need to know if a new law is already, or up for 'review' stating that mandatory 85% is getting lowered to 75% in Missouri...
And btw, how do I insert my ticker???

05-06-2005, 07:29 AM
I have never heard of this. Where did you hear of it?

05-12-2005, 08:44 PM
that "insane little boy" Matt Blunt is in office! we won't be getting anything until he's gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!

05-13-2005, 05:01 PM
This article is interesting. It was in the Jefferson City News Tribune on 04/30/2005
By HEATHER J. CARLSON - The Associated Press

Just two years after approving it, Missouri lawmakers are moving to scrap a law allowing certain drug offenders, burglars and other nonviolent convicts to seek their release after four months in prison. When the early release law passed, supporters touted it as a way to ease state budget woes by reducing the state's soaring inmate population.

But now lawmakers want to ax the relaxed sentencing provision, citing anger over a recent Supreme Court decision interpreting who qualifies as a nonviolent offender. Along with the drive to repeal the early release law, lawmakers are backing legislation that toughens sentences on a variety of crimes at the same time the state is temporarily closing a prison to help balance the state budget.

Rep. Cathy Jolly, a former Jackson County assistant prosecutor, is leading the charge to get rid of the early release law. "I do not believe the community wants those type of people to be eligible for early probation -- especially without any consideration of the victim," said Jolly, D-Kansas City. Two years ago, Jolly voted for the early release provision as part of a larger bill with tougher penalties for a number of crimes. She is one of many lawmakers changing her vote. The House already has passed a bill repealing the early release law. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously also endorsed the legislation.

But former Sen. Harold Caskey, who sponsored the law, said getting rid of it would be a big mistake. "It is my belief that if we have money to spend, we ought to spend it on our classrooms instead of spending it on jails for our nonviolent offenders," said Caskey, a former Bates County prosecutor.

The early release law applies to first-time prisoners convicted of nonviolent Class C and Class D felonies, which include most drug possession offenses, burglary, child molestation, forgery or third-offense drunken driving, to name a few. People who have served at least 120 days in prison can seek release to serve the remainder of their sentences on probation, parole or some other court-approved program. The Department of Corrections makes recommendations to a judge, who makes the decision.

Some critics of the law -- including Attorney General Jay Nixon -- expressed concern that it could result in thousands of inmates being freed. But so far, of the 913 offenders who have petitioned, only 38 have been released, said Department of Corrections spokesman John Fougere.

A recent Missouri Supreme Court decision is helping to fuel efforts to get rid of the law. The court unanimously ruled in February that a man convicted of second-degree attempted assault after a drunken driving accident that seriously injured a teenager could seek early release because the crime could be considered nonviolent. The court said there is no clear definition in state law of what constitutes a nonviolent crime.

"I think it is outrageous, that ruling," Jolly said. "That is not a nonviolent felony and that person should not be able to have early release." She said the state already has in place a system to determine when inmates should be placed on parole and the early release law is not needed. She added that victims have no input on whether these inmates should be released early, unlike in the standard parole process.

Assistant Attorney General James Klahr also argues the law should be scrapped. He said the petition process results in high administrative costs with very few inmates ultimately benefiting.

Yet some question whether the entire early release law should be dumped.
Sen. John Loudon asked Jolly at recent committee hearing whether it would be better to just clearly define those crimes that are not eligible for early release. "I'm wondering if you are not taking a chain saw to do surgery," said Loudon, R-Ballwin.

Missouri would be bucking a national trend if lawmakers repeal the relaxed sentencing law, said Marc Mauer, assistant director of The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies prison alternatives for nonviolent, property and low-level drug offenders.

Over the past five years, Mauer said many states have embraced alternative sentencing programs to cut incarceration costs and try to reduce recidivism.

Facts about Missouri inmates:

Here's a numerical look at Missouri's prison population:

31,052 -- Number of inmates in Missouri prisons.
29,937 -- Number of inmates in Missouri prisons at start of 2003.
$14,004 -- Average cost to house a Missouri inmate per year in 2004.
918 -- Number of petitions for early release.
38 -- Number of petitions granted.

Source: Missouri Department of Corrections