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JRI Years: 2012, 2018



Between 1990 and 2011, Missouri’s prison population doubled, and its corrections costs increased nearly 250 percent. Missouri sought assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts to use JRI to address failures on probation and parole supervision, which were the leading driver of prison admissions.


Missouri enacted House Bill (HB) 1525 in 2012, which established an earned compliance credits policy that allows individuals to shorten their time on probation or parole by 30 days for every full calendar month that they comply with the conditions of their sentences. The legislation incorporated recommendations from the Missouri Working Group on Sentencing and Corrections, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers, judges, executive branch officials, and others who conducted a detailed review of the state’s correctional policies and practices in 2011 that resulted in policy and practice changes across agencies.


Following Missouri’s JRI effort, more than 36,000 people had their supervision terms reduced by 14 months on average between 2012 and 2015. These reductions helped decrease the state’s supervision population and officer caseloads, with no increase in recidivism.1

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Reduce crack-powder cocaine disparity
  • Establish/expand earned discharge (probation/parole)
  • Authorize performance incentive funding
  • Authorize administrative jail sanctions
  • Cap revocation time
  • Establish/extend oversight council



In 2017, violent crime in Missouri had risen in recent years, while arrests for these crimes had declined. At the same time, Missouri’s prison population was continuing to swell, driven mostly by admissions for supervision violations, many of which were technical violations, and admissions for prison-based behavioral health treatment, which research shows is less effective than community-based treatment.2 If the rate of growth in Missouri’s prison population was not slowed, the state would have needed to build two new prison facilities by 2021, which would have cost nearly half a billion dollars in combined construction and operating costs. This resulted in Missouri launching their second JRI engagement in 2017. The bipartisan Missouri State Justice Reinvestment Task Force—which included designees from all three branches of government and state and local criminal justice system stakeholders—worked with the CSG Justice Center to review analyses and develop policy options.


Many of these policies are reflected in House Bill (HB) 1355, which was signed into law in June 2018. This comprehensive JRI legislation aims to provide resources to local law enforcement to help reduce violent crime, increase community-based treatment for people in the criminal justice system who have substance addictions and mental illnesses, and increase support for victims, among other measures. To that end, Missouri made several changes to policy and practice across agencies.3


As part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce recidivism among women, Missouri transitioned its Community Supervision Centers to state-of-the-art reentry and community support facilities, including the first-ever female-only trauma-informed facility with gender-responsive approaches to supervision, case management, and programming. To build and strengthen its community-based treatment systems, Missouri’s Department of Corrections and Department of Mental Health partnered to establish, implement, and expand the first pay-for-performance collaborative approach to community supervision and behavioral health service delivery. In its first year, the program served nearly 500 individuals with serious substance additions at a high risk for revocation.

For more information, see Justice Reinvestment in Missouri.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Address violent crime within communities
  • Revise parole hearings/decision/eligibility standards
  • Adopt actuarial decisionmaking tool for release considerations
  • Establish/expand presumptive parole for qualifying cases
  • Authorize performance incentive funding
  • Require/improve risk-needs assessment
  • Require evidence-based practices
  • Reform/establish specialty courts or diversion programs
  • Improve behavioral health interventions
  • Improve restitution/victim notification
  • Establish/extend oversight council
  • Improve records management system
  • Establish/improve quality assurance/continuous policy improvement policies or practices
  • Establish/improve network to link supervised population to behavioral health providers
  • Expand gender-responsive practices

Other JRI-Funded Projects

In Missouri, individual agencies, in partnership with the CSG Justice Center, participated in the Justice Counts initiative as part of a larger criminal justice effort.

1 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2023, Justice Reinvestment in Missouri, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 18, 2023 from  

2 Stephanie Lee et al., 2012, Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes, April 2012 Update, Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy, retrieved from

3 Ibid.

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