March 28, 2024 Less than a minute read

Missouri Chamber supports legislation to reduce recidivism

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is supporting lawmakers’ efforts to reduce recidivism by making it easier to have a criminal record expunged.

Senate and House committees heard a handful of Clean Slate bills this week, including SB 763 by Sen. Brian Williams (D-University City), SB 1161 by Sen. Curtis Trent (R-Springfield), HB 2108 by Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R-St. Peters), and HB 2555 by Rep. Justin Hicks (R-Lake St. Louis).

The bills would establish an automated criminal record expungement process for certain non-violent offenses.

Currently, Missouri’s expungement process is petition-based.

“Because of that, there are a lot of judicial inefficiencies that happen,” Hicks said.

According to the bill sponsors, only 1% of eligible individuals in Missouri have been successful in obtaining an expungement due to the complex and lengthy petition process. Williams said the proposed legislation would help reduce recidivism by removing barriers to employment, housing and education for justice-involved individuals.

“In these challenging economic times, we need the government to get out of the way of people who want to go to work,” Williams said. “We need these workers to help our local businesses thrive here in Missouri.”

“It really gives people an opportunity to reintegrate fully into society with jobs and housing opportunities that might have been otherwise unavailable,” Trent added.

In 2022, the Missouri Chamber released a public safety report, Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri, which includes recommendations to address crime in our state, including reducing recidivism among those on probation and parole. As a result, the Missouri Chamber supports this effort to reform the expungement process and reduce recidivism by making it easier for justice-involved individuals to find stable housing and employment.

“When folks are not working, when they don’t have a stable place to live, they are much more likely to reoffend,” Christofanelli said.

For more information, contact Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, at or 573-634-3511.


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