It is an unfortunate fact of life that many crimes are committed by people who have already spent time in prison or who are on probation from a previous conviction. I have written here many times about the importance of prisoner re-entry programs to help ex-convicts get jobs to reduce the likelihood that they will strike again. But, it is also important that the State of Missouri adequately supervise ex-offenders.
Other cities, including Washington, D.C., have credited closer supervision of ex-offenders with reducing violent crime rates.
In the up-coming legislative session, I plan to ask Governor Matt Blunt and the Missouri General Assembly to increase the number of probation and parole officers to ensure more ex-offenders abide by the terms of their release.
Until then, the St. Louis Police Department will be paying its officers overtime to work with the local office of Probation and Parole to help the State do its job better.