In the past, mandatory minimum sentencing laws have been used as a “tough on crime” approach to justice. But mandatory minimums do far more harm than good in Missouri.
- Take authority away from judges who would make case-by-case decisions and place it in the hands of legislators.
- Drastically drive up incarceration rates, especially for non-violent and drug-related offenses. In 2016, 41 percent of Missouri’s prison population was incarcerated for non-violent and/or drug-related crimes. Missouri now has the eighth-highest incarceration rate in the country.
- Put taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars. Missouri is on track to need two more prisons in the coming years, partially because of sentencing minimums.
Justice should never be one-size-fits-all. What we need in Missouri are judges who have the flexibility to review cases and make sentencing decisions. That will alleviate the burden on prisons and taxpayers, allow for sentences that actually fit the crime, help people get a second chance, and create space in prisons for those who are truly a threat to public safety.
Tell your lawmaker to do what’s best for Missouri by reducing mandatory minimum sentencing.