WHEREAS, the State of Missouri recognizes that all citizens have a right to live in safe communities; and
WHEREAS, more than 30,000 offenders are incarcerated in Missouri prisons and approximately 70,000 are under supervision at a substantial cost to the taxpayers of this state; and
WHEREAS, 97% of offenders in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections will be released from prison to live in communities across the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, the State of Missouri recognizes that a good and responsible government is one that applies its resources in an efficient, effective and coordinated effort to ensure offenders leave prison with the tools they need to be successful, law-abiding citizens – not just for the offender, but for children, families, friends, neighbors, visitors and businesses; and
WHEREAS, offenders released from prison without the tools necessary to become law-abiding and productive citizens frequently commit additional crimes at a significant cost to taxpayers and substantial impact on crime victims; and
WHEREAS, the Missouri Reentry Process (MRP) was initiated in 2002 and provides state and local collaboration and a framework to promote common interests, integrate policies and services and improve the overall transition process of these offenders leaving prison and returning to Missouri communities; and
WHEREAS, more than 8,000 offenders have been released after completing the full preparation for reentry in a transition housing unit; and
WHEREAS, there has been a 10% reduction in recidivism by offenders who have completed the Missouri Reentry Process; and
WHEREAS, ongoing commitment to this program from all participating State departments is a requirement for its ultimate success; and
WHEREAS, all Missourians will benefit from the success of this collaborative approach to public safety.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by the power vested in me by the laws and Constitution of the State of Missouri, do hereby direct the Department of Corrections to lead a permanent interagency steering team for the Missouri Reentry Process. The steering team shall be comprised of executive level staff from the following state agencies:
Department of Corrections
Missouri Board of Probation and Parole
Department of Mental Health
Department of Social Services
Department of Secondary and Elementary Education
Department of Economic Development
Department of Revenue
Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of the State Courts Administrator
Department of Public Safety
Department of Transportation
Membership shall also include representatives from various community organizations representing the crime victims, law enforcement, treatment providers, the faith-based community and any others deemed necessary to accomplish the mission set forth herein.
The Director of the Department of Corrections shall appoint a chairperson of the Missouri Reentry Process Steering Team responsible for its oversight and direction. The Missouri Reentry Process Steering Team shall integrate successful offender reentry principles and practices in state agencies and communities resulting in partnerships that enhance offender self-sufficiency, reduce re-incarceration, and improve public safety.
The Department of Corrections shall, with the Missouri Reentry Process Steering Team, provide bi-annual reports to the Governor and Directors of the partnering state agencies and community organizations on the outcomes, progress towards goals and emerging issues relative to the Missouri Reentry Process.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 26th day of March, 2009.