A relic of the failed "War on Drugs," mandatory minimum sentences require the court to send a person to a minimum number of years in prison once they're convicted.
Mandatory minimums needlessly increase costs without improving public safety. Severe sentences are not more effective at deterring crime.
Missouri has the eighth-highest incarceration rate in the nation. Each year, we spend $725,165,192 on corrections. Each of those dollars spent generates an additional $10 in social costs, paid by Missourians — often families, children and community members who have committed no crime.
If we don't change course soon, we will have to spend half a billion dollars to build two new prisons in the next two years.
Missouri jails and prisons are already overpopulated. Reducing mandatory minimums would keep people out of prison and lower incarceration costs. Changing the mandatory minimum laws in Missouri will keep Missourians safe while giving offenders who have changed a chance to contribute to their community and Missouri's economy.