On Tuesday, September 26, Columbia College hosted the Show-Me Institute’s panel discussion on criminal justice reform, “Behind Bars in Missouri — Who is Paying the Price?” Panelists presented their thoughts on the state of affairs in Missouri and what reforms might address them. Panelists included:
- Barry Langford, Chair of the Columbia College Criminal Justice program. Langford has taught at the school since 1994.
- Aaron Hedlund, economics professor at the University of Missouri and visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
- Nicole Volkert, former prosecutor and municipal judge. Volkert has served both Monroe and Montgomery Counties and a legal advisor to the Columbia Police Department
- Jennifer Bukowski, a criminal defense attorney with over ten years of experience. Nicole founded the Bukowsky Law Firm seven years ago after serving as a public defender for three years.
- Eric Schmitt, Treasurer of the State of Missouri, elected in 2016. Previously, Eric served in the Missouri State Senate
The 90-minute presentation was packed with information. Panelists discussed criminal justice theory, the process and players from arrest to parole, over-criminalization, and the deleterious role of fees and fines, along with possible reforms. Some of the latter the Show-Me Institute has discussed before, including the cost of incarceration overall and reforms such as Raise the Age and reducing mandatory minimums. Panelists even pointed out the positive effects that education choice can have on incarceration likelihood.
The entire presentation is now available online (click above). The Show-Me Institute is grateful to everyone who participated.