• Judge orders revamp of Missouri’s ‘unconstitutional’ parole system

    JEFFERSON CITY — In a decision that could further reduce Missouri’s prison population, a federal judge has ordered the state to overhaul its parole system.

    The order, spurred by a class-action lawsuit in 2017 by state prison inmates, requires the state’s Department of Corrections to implement over two dozen reforms related to the agency’s unconstitutional handling of parole revocation proceedings.

    The lawsuit alleged that the current practices resulted in the unlawful reincarceration of thousands of people each year.

    “These reforms should result in fewer people thrown back behind bars, and slow the churn at prison reception centers,” said Amy Breihan, co-director of the MacArthur Justice Center.

    The 55-page order from U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough found the Department of Corrections has been intentionally failing to provide state-funded counsel to eligible parolees. The court ordered the department to ensure all eligible parolees have an attorney appointed for any proceeding to move forward.

    The judge also ordered several other changes. While the agency previously would not disclose evidence against an individual until the hearing, officials are now required to provide evidence at least five days prior to a revocation hearing.

    Read the Full Story here: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/judge-orders-revamp-of-missouri-s-unconstitutional-parole-system/article_6fd8c5cf-1f3b-5ae9-beb3-4a3639f6d3a9.html

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