MO Chief Justice Assails “Over-Incarceration” Of The Non-Violent


Missouri’s chief justice told legislators yesterday that hat putting more nonviolent offenders in prison is not the answer to the state’s drunk driving problems, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Perhaps the biggest waste of resources in all of state government is the over-incarceration of nonviolent offenders and our mishandling of drug and alcohol offenders. It is costing us billions of dollars and it is not making a dent in crime,” Justice William Ray Price told the House of Representatives in the annual “state of the judiciary” speech. “We may have been tough on crime, but we have not been smart on crime.”

Price spoke before a major DWI bill received its first hearing. The bill, proposed by Rep. Bryan Stevenson, would require all courts to enter DWI convictions into a statewide clearinghouse, making it easier for multiple drunken driving offenders to be prosecuted. The bill would also increase penalties for some multiple offenders and reduce the sentences of those who seek treatment while in prison. Stevenson stressed that final provision in opening the hearing, with Price in attendance

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