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Sentencing Alternatives in Missouri

Sentencing Alternatives in Criminal Cases and Probation Hearings (Part I)

It is often disputed if remanding a criminal to the Missouri Department of Corrections (Prison) is the best way to rehabilitate a criminal so that he or she may be a productive member of society once again. Defendants who suffer from addiction to narcotics or who lack guidance in the community to guide them in a positive direction are more likely to become a recidivist offender once exiting a normal prison stint than those who are given proper treatment and guidance from individuals who are trained in these areas. Missouri has several options that a defense attorney can propose to prosecutors and judges that can make this path possible. The options can be used in an original criminal proceeding or during a probation revocation hearing.

Shock Incarceration Program Under 559.115 RSMo.

Missouri offers a program that focuses on life skills, substance abuse education, and the development of a community based home plan. The shock program is 120 days and requires that a bed date (reservation) be made with the department of corrections so that there is room for the defendant. This program can be added as part of probation and after successful completion of the program the defendant will be released back to the public on general and specific terms as the judge sees fit. The downfall of this program is that even though it is not considered a remand to the Department of Corrections, the defendant will still be placed in the general prison population.

Institutional Treatment Center under 559.115 RSMo.

The Institutional Treatment Center (ITC) is a highly structured treatment program that teaches its participants how to develop skills to lead a positive life, how to prevent relapses in drug addiction, provides substance abuse treatment, community home plan development, and how to avoid a life of criminality. The ITC is available to male or female defendants who are not convicted sex offenders and have not been diagnosed with mental health issues. Further, requirements are that the defendant have an active substance abuse problem and has failed attempts at community treatment. This program also requires a bed date, and, therefore, defense counsel or the judge should call ahead of the plea or sentencing date to assure there is room available.

Programs Available under Chaper 217 RSMo.

The above programs are the drug treatment programs offered as sentencing alternatives in Missouri under Chapter 559 RSMo. The next part of this blog will discuss sentencing alternatives under Chapter 217 RSMo., some of which may be more applicable to probation violation hearings.

If you have been charged with a drug crime or you are facing a probation violation on a SIS or SES drug charge it is important to have experienced counsel represent you so that these options can be explored should regular probation not be an option. The criminal defense lawyers at Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. has experience at aggressively advocating for their clients in these types of proceedings and have obtained successful results, even over the prosecutor or probation officers recommendations. Call 314-645-4000 today for your free consultation. Our lawyers are available 24/7.