JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Representative Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis City, has long advocated for many reforms to our criminal justice system. During the previous legislative session, Representative Franks took the lead in working to award credit to incarcerated offenders who demonstrated good behavior and rehabilitation. His efforts in this area both encouraged and educated many throughout the halls of government.
During the last several months, at the urging of Representative Franks, the Department of Corrections undertook a comprehensive and challenging review of the Good-Time Credit statute as well as the DOC policies surrounding Good-Time Credit. Through this process, it was learned that Representative Franks and the DOC share a common goal when it comes to improving and actively utilizing Good-Time Credit.
On August 28, 2018, Section 217.690, the statute that empowers the Missouri Parole Board to make parole decisions for offenders confined in the Department of Corrections, was changed. This change was one of the many provisions of House Bill 1355, which Representative Franks supported, and requires the use of a validated risk assessment tool for offenders. The Department of Corrections, as part of the Justice Re-Investment Initiative, and in consultation with the Council on State Governments, adopted the Ohio Risk Assessment System, otherwise known as the ORAS.
By using the information from the ORAS’ validated evaluation, the Department of Corrections will be able to assess offenders’ risks and needs in addition to tailoring community supervision, programming during periods of incarceration, and parole decisions to each offender. The Department will then be better able to award those offenders who complete programming.
Director Precythe’s stated vision for the Department is to improve lives for safer communities. Representative Franks shares in this vision. “By implementing the validated risk assessment into the decision-making process, we have incorporated Representative Franks’ desire to reward offenders who want to improve their lives during their incarceration. His devotion and efforts have come to fruition in many ways, and we applaud his efforts.”