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Missouri's auditor demands answers after KY3 investigation in probation and parole program

(KY3)
Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 3:43 PM CST
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Missouri's state auditor is now demanding answers from the Missouri Department of Corrections about a new system put into place system months ago.

It came about after legislators wanted a better ‘measure’ on how offenders are responding to treatment or punishment. This is a story KY3's Sara Forhetz has reported for several months, and asking the same questions.

Many Ozarks sheriffs say the new rules are too soft on crime, and believe it rewards offenders for behavior they say isn't deserving of rewards, specifically to people on Probation or parole. Local law enforcement and taxpayers have expressed concerns about who is funding things like gas cards and gift cards.

Auditor Nicole Galloway says her office is now investigating.

“These are basic questions to answer that need to be answered from a governmental entity on how they’re handling this program that’s giving away incentives to offenders on parole," said Galloway. "That does not mean there shouldn’t be a paper trail or understanding of how this works. Law enforcement, sheriffs, and crime victims have valid questions that need to be answered.”

KY3 also requested funding information on this several weeks ago.

And just today, the Department of Corrections responded with a statement.

"It is very important to note that a practice utilizing incentives and sanctions is required by state law. This is NOT a “program.” It is the use of best practices for case management and supervision recognized and implemented throughout the United States. Also, as stated previously, the incentives for offenders from the MOMM are either purchased from the Inmate Revolving Fund or donated by private entities for said purpose. There are NO tax dollars/general revenue funds used for this purpose, and any suggestion to the contrary is false. These items are specifically provided through either donation or offender-generated funds, which are statutorily required to be spent for offender services. The fund number in the state’s accounting system for the Inmate Revolving Fund is 0540. The requisitions for the incentives purchased are attached to this email, please note from the coding string that all payments have come from fund 0540 (Inmate Revolving Fund) and the total expenditures are $1,254.19 for the entire state. There are more than 60,000 people under supervision. This is an informal process utilized by officers in the field. The items have little to no monetary value, and many of the donors prefer to remain anonymous. Donated items have included gas cards, water bottles, and stress balls."