JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Rep. Alan Green, D-Florissant, was recently appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to serve on Missouri’s Justice Reinvestment Executive Oversight Council, which aims to reduce crime, significantly decrease the prison population and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. The Justice Reinvestment Council was established and implemented by Gov. Parson’s Executive Order 18-08 and consists of individuals representing multiple state and local government agencies.
“My career and fight for criminal justice reform dates back over 25 years as I had the privilege of working under the leadership of Joseph A. Califano, Jr., head of the Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City,” said Green. “While serving on his team, I was involved in the formation of the nations’ drug courts. I am appreciative of the opportunity to provide my input on ways we can improve public safety in the state of Missouri and I am honored to take on this task.”
Research conducted by the national nonpartisan, nonprofit Council of State Governments last year revealed that Missouri had eighth-highest incarceration rate in the United States; the country’s fastest-growing female prison population; violent crime and property crime rates well above the national average; and a high rate of revocations to prison from the probation and parole system. Additionally, studies found that it costs $58.85 per day to house a Missourian in a state prison. According to CSG projections, failing to take action would result in further growth of the prison population, necessitating the construction of two new prisons by 2023, at an estimated cost of $485 million.
“The prison system is filled with challenges from addressing mental and behavioral health issues among inmates to the amount of money that goes into housing and transporting inmates,” Green says. “Even greater, we must begin working towards reducing crime in our respective communities, fostering healthy relationships between citizens and law enforcement and restoring public trust in our criminal justice system.”
“I look forward to working with my fellow council members to develop effective solutions for the issues that plague our prison system and impact the livelihood of our citizens.”