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Report: Jail Population, Criminal Justice Staffing Needs Work

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A four-year update of the Safety and Justice Roundtable Report on Wednesday shows two areas that are in need of some work and have been deemed as "red-flag" priorities; staffing of the criminal justice system and reducing the jail population.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A four-year update of the Safety and Justice Roundtable Report on Wednesday shows two areas that are in need of some work and have been deemed as "red-flag" priorities; staffing of the criminal justice system and reducing the jail population. 

However, city and county leaders say they're making progress on red-flag issues identified four years ago.

In 2009, the group outlined critical areas that needed improvement, such as the police and fire pension fund and jail overcrowding.

The new update gives high marks and green flags to the city and county for opening the new public safety center and enhancing data sharing.

However, there are still concerns that need additional work.

"Court building space," says Greene County Administrator Tim Smith. "Both county and municipal and state; we really need more space. We're out of jail space. We still have a lot of staffing needs that we don't meet. "

The new report gives the police and fire pension fund mixed reviews. The issue was deemed a yellow flag and still needs to be improved in some areas.

Revenue from the sales tax approved in 2009 improved the plan from 35 percent to 67 percent funded status as of July 2013.

The priority will remain a yellow flag until results of a sales tax renewal coming to voters in April 2014. As discussed at the time the initial sales tax was passed, a renewal is needed to meet the 100 percent funding level required to sustain the stability of the plan.

Two red priorities included additional staffing throughout the criminal justice system and reducing the jail population and improving the Family Juvenile Justice System.

"While notable progress has been, and is being made, it is essential that providing the resources needed for public safety remains a high priority for the community, if we are to keep pace with public safety needs," said Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott in a statement.

To see the original Safety and Justice Roundtable Report, click here.

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