In 1994 The "Truth in Sentencing" Act passed in Missouri, ensuring that individuals convicted of a Class A Felony serve 85% of their sentence before being parole eligible.
How it began:
- Federal funding was offered for states to adopt mandatory minimum of 85%
- Program is no longer federally funded
- States did not adopt the often shorter federal sentencing guidelines, so Missouri actually pays for longer incarcerations than the federal government does for Class A felonies
Who it effects:
- First time violent offenders convicted of a Class A felony
- Assault, Robbery (with or without a weapon) and Arson are Class A felonies. Other crimes, such as murder, rape, and child molestation are also Class A felonies, but our proposal excludes the early release of rapists and child molesters.
What it's changed in Missouri:
- Highest per capital rates of incarceration
- Growth of prison population has increased almost 9 times in last 30 years
- 5,000 inmates were in the Missouri system in the early 1980's
- Over 33,000 incarcerated individuals are in the system today
- 11,000 convicted individuals are in county jails awaiting prison bed space
- Cost of Corrections: 220 million in 1994
- Cost of Corrections: 680 million in 2014 (budgeted). The DOC has gone over its budget during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year for several years in a row. In order to keep the Department of Corrections running, those funds are being taken (silently and out of the public view) from other departments.