Contact: Rabiah Burks
Missouri Sentencing Reform Clears First Hurdle
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – FAMM Vice President of Policy Molly Gill today lauded the Missouri House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee for unanimously approving a bill to reform the state’s sentencing laws. The bill, HB 1739, introduced by Rep. Cody Smith (R-163), would help right-size the state’s prison population by granting judges the discretion to sentence nonviolent offenders below the otherwise applicable minimum prison term when a shorter sentence is warranted. The bill was also supported by the Missouri State Public Defenders, Empower Missouri, and the Show-Me Institute.
“Missouri is facing a choice: Be smarter about who goes to prison and how long they stay—or build more prisons that cost hundreds of millions of dollars that could be invested more wisely elsewhere,” Gill said. “Today’s vote shows they are making the choice that’s better for taxpayers and for public safety. We applaud Rep. Smith and the committee for taking the state in the right direction on sentencing.”
Gill was on hand to witness today’s committee vote. Yesterday, she testified before the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in support of SB 748, companion legislation to HB 1739. Click here for more information on HB 1739 and SB 748.
FAMM is a nonpartisan, national advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice reforms to make our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM promotes change by raising the voices of families and individuals who are directly affected by counterproductive sentencing and prison policies.