What Might Materially Improve Missouri’s Budget Problem?

In Drug Crimesby RSF

On behalf of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry posted in Drug Crimes on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

Mary Ann McGivern says that her reasoned view regarding a material budget fix to Missouri’s governmental money woes might not fly with a number of residents, especially public officials. Rather than endorsing her ideas and promoting their implementation, she fears that state decision makers are more apt to simply deem her “a lunatic.”

Concededly, some might, but it’s just as likely that legions of Missourians would be most willing to give McGivern a close listen and thoughtfully reflect on what she has to say. In fact, it is clear that a diverse and growing demographic across the country already endorses her main points.

Here’s one of them, which is at the top of the list for the member of the Catholic religious institute Sisters of Loretto and longtime advocate for criminal justice reforms: Cut the state’s prison population.

And by a lot. McGivern cites the number of 20%, which she says could quickly restore about $100 million or so to Missouri’s government coffers. McGivern notes – and rightly so, based on broad-based empirical evidence – that far too many people languish behind bars who are inappropriately placed in lock-up settings (one might reasonably think first-time nonviolent drug offenders susceptible of rehabilitation here).

Many of McGivern’s other suggestions also flow from sound research findings, and are firmly in sync with an evolving mindset that has collectively grown among bipartisan reformers in Missouri and nationally. Recommendations to stop mandatory minimum sentencing, raise charging thresholds on select felonies to help offenders avoid meaninglessly long sentences, end bail and promote parole for more older inmates hardly seem like untenable fringe arguments.

Indeed, those suggestions are now resounding across the country, in both state legislatures and on Capitol Hill.

If McGivern is a lunatic, she is joined by a rapidly growing and already sizable population of thoughtful and concerned Americans who want to see real justice reforms and attendant taxpayer savings.