The Department of Corrections has more than 30,000 incarcerated inmates, 97 percent of who will return home to our communities throughout the state. Each year there are approximately 20,000 inmates released back into the community. If offenders are released without the appropriate and necessary tools to be productive members of society, they have a greater potential to be a threat to public safety and are at risk to re-offend.
In 2002, Missouri was the first of eight states chosen by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) as a demonstration site for the Transition from Prison to Community Model, which was renamed the Missouri Reentry Process. This model promotes state and local collaboration and provides a philosophical framework for "stakeholder agencies" to promote common interests, integrate policies and services and improve the overall transition process of those offenders leaving prison and returning to Missouri communities.
A state-level MRP Steering Team was established including state representatives from the Department of Corrections, Department of Mental Health, Department of Revenue, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Social Services, Office of the State Court Administrator, Department of Economic Development, Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Senior Services. Local community representatives include law enforcement, the faith-based community, crime victims, and service/treatment providers.
The Missouri Reentry Process (MRP) is designed to prepare offenders to be successful, productive, taxpaying citizens upon their release from prison. The Department realizes, however, that this endeavor has many challenges and is too great a task for any one agency to solve on its own. Offenders leaving prison have many challenges that create barriers to their success, such as substance abuse issues, lack of family support, mental health issues, medical issues, lack of education and skills, no housing, and many more. The Missouri Reentry Process is a philosophical change that includes the examination of organizational priorities, practices and culture with the ultimate goal being public safety.