Missouri Legislature Pushing Prison Reform

Missouri House leaders are backing legislation that could undo some mandatory minimum sentencing laws for many nonviolent criminals.

The legislation reflects a national trend toward more lenient prison terms for some drug offenders and other low-level criminals, focusing more on rehabilitation.

Many of Missouri’s minimum sentencing law date back to the 1980s and 1990s when officials were trying to lock people up for longer to prevent crime.

The number of inmates in the state peaked in September of 2017 at over 33 thousand people.

Missouri has had the eighth highest incarceration rate among the states.