- Governor Jay Nixon, the Supreme Court and the legislature created a bipartisan 13 member Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections. Assisted by the Pew Center on the States and funded by the United States Department of Justice, the group will develop recommendations to improve public safety and reduce costs. Learn more »
- The Governor signed a law allowing any circuit or county court of Jackson County to establish a DWI court that combines judicial supervision, drug testing, continuous alcohol monitoring, substance abuse traffic offender program compliance, and treatment. The law also increases the minimum terms of incarceration required for repeat offenders and permits judges to give DWI Court participants interlock licenses.
- In an unrelated policy decision, Missouri also changed its rules on medication-assisted treatment. Until 2008, Missouri providers were prohibited from using medications. Now, the state’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (DADA), Department of Mental Health, requires them to offer medication-assistant treatment, and the state has budgeted over $1 million for the service. The funding can be used for any physician-prescribed medication, but DADA is focusing on Vivitrol (extended release Naltrexone) because alcoholism is so common, the drug is “safe,” and research shows it can be “very effective” for some people. See Mo. Requires providers to offer medication-assisted treatment, 21 Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly (November 2, 2009) for more details.
- State Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr., delivered the State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly on February 3, 2010, urging the legislature to move from punishment-based sanctioning to evidence-based sanctioning that considers costs of incarceration and the impact on recidivism. He urged increased usage of treatment programs and judicial oversight for non-violent offenders with substance misuse issues. Click here to read the text of his speech.
- The Department of Corrections is concluding a six-month pilot study of the SCRAM device. Over 500 people participated in the pilot. The legislature also passed a law requiring repeat DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.