In August the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission started providing judges with detailed information on the costs of sentencing options in various cases. Officials said that this was so that judges could compare the costs of prison and alternatives in nonviolent cases. This information is available to help Missouri judges, attorneys and probation officers identify sentences that have the best chances for reducing recidivism and are most cost-effective.
The Missouri commission also reports on the risks of recidivism, which often results in increased costs to the state as inmates become trapped in the system. Supreme Court Judge Michael A. Wolff, commission chairman, has commented that "it’s time to talk rationally about how much punishment we can afford”.