JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– The Missouri Department of Corrections is changing the way it deals with individuals involved in the criminal justice system.
The department said the organization realizes a one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work. On June 1, 2019, the Missouri Department of Corrections rolled out the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.
This initiative includes providing clients with the tools he or she needs to stay out of prison.
“What we were seeing is that we were still having the same number of people still come to us and still go in the institution,” said Regional Administrator for the Missouri Department of Corrections, Tiffany Lomosi. “We have a high offender population in the institution, so something we were doing needed to be re-evaluated.”
One of these tools is the Missouri Offender Management Matrix System. Through this system clients are assessed and then given certain incentives and sanctions based on what best fits for them.
“From the minute they step foot in a probation or parole office…we tailor our approach with that individual the entire time they’re with us,” said Lomosi.
The idea is to promote continued good behavior will the end goal of having a client become a law-abiding citizen within their community. Some of those incentives include verbal praise and food vouchers.
Still, some might question why do offenders deserve free perks?
“The research shows that incentives work,” said Lomosi. “The research shows that if we incentivize good behavior they keep doing good work, and, that’s ultimately what we want.”
Lomosi said all incentive vouchers are donated from local organizations such as churches and other non-profit groups.