(Jefferson City)–The State Department of Corrections and Missouri Sheriffs Association have very different accounts about the release of convicted felons from prison. Sheriffs Executive Director Kevin Merritt says prisoners are getting out way earlier than they should due to changes in state law and Department of Corrections policies. For example, he says the Department is not penalizing parole violators enough after testing positive for drugs.

Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe says probation and parole practices have not changed and the courts or parole board decide whether someone returns to prison.
Last year, the Legislature passed a measure ditching mandatory minimum sentences for some nonviolent crimes – impacting Missouri’s prison population.