Missouri Inmate InfoThe Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) is responsible for housing people convicted of a crime and sent to prison. If you are incarcerated on a misdemeanor, you will be housed in a local jail, not MDOC. If convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison, you will first go to a Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center (RDCC). Missouri Department of Corrections has a number of these facilities throughout the state. The purpose of the RDCC is to classify your security level, assign you an inmate number and to assign you to a specific prison.
The Missouri Department of Corrections provides a full list of all prisons at http://doc.mo.gov/division/dai/facilities_inst.php Once you arrive at the designated prison, you will eventually appear before a parole board. The purpose of a parole hearing is to determine your first eligible release date. Usually the parole board provides this information to you within a few weeks after your hearing. You are permitted to have an attorney present and representing you at your parole hearing, although one is not necessary. We have represented clients in a number of parole hearings. Typically we work with clients and their families to develop a “home plan” and other information deemed important by the parole board. Our work has resulted in many clients being released at the first available date. While the law does not require you to have an attorney for a parole hearing, having one can make a difference. In most instances the parole board is the only entity that can authorize your release. That is, once you are sentenced to prison, the judge in your case loses jurisdiction to release you.
There are a couple of programs that exist within the Department of Corrections that do not require your appearance before the parole board before you are released. Missouri Revised Statute (RSMo) 559.115 allows a judge to sentence you to a term of prison (commonly called a “backup”) but to keep jurisdiction of you for a period of 120 days from the date you arrive in the RDCC. This period of “shock” incarceration can require that you complete a treatment program or that you remain in general population. Regardless, at the end of the 120 days, the judge can authorize your release to probation. The 120-day program has been very successful in helping many inmates. However, there can be complicated timing issues to ensure you arrive in time to participate in the treatment program, so hiring an attorney who understands the program is important.
If you qualify for this shorter sentence, you could also be sent to a long-term treatment program pursuant to 217.362 RSMo. This program does require you to have a certain number of past non-violent felonies on your record in order to be eligible to take part in the program. Typically the length of your prison term will vary from nine to eighteen months. During this time, you will be able to complete a treatment program and are often also permitted to work. Having a lawyer familiar with this program is vital as there are many qualifications that must be met to ensure you will be placed into the program upon your arrival. If you arrive at MDOC without the requisite screening, you could be ineligible to take part in the program and required to appear before the parole board before release.
Other programs exist within the Missouri Department of Corrections for different types of treatment, including sex offender screening. These programs are very specialized and have detailed requirements that must be completed in order to ensure your release upon completion. Many lawyers do not understand or research these programs and clients are left not understanding what is expected of them when they arrive at MDOC. As a former public defender, Jeff Goldfarb has extensive training in the programs offered by the Missouri Department of Corrections. He understands the prerequisites to enter each program as well as the requirements to complete the programs successfully. Call us anytime to discuss your questions about a treatment program offered by the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Finally, there are some very important aspects to specific cases that must be understood prior to accepting a deal that includes a prison sentence. Missouri has some charges that, by statutory law, require 85% of the sentence or more be completed before release is possible. Still other cases, such as certain sex offenses, have no mandatory minimums before release by statute, but that the parole board views differently. In many sex crime cases the parole board will require you to complete a lengthy treatment program before release. Failing to understand the details of this scenario can obviously have drastic consequences. We communicate regularly with the Missouri Department of Corrections to ensure we provide clients with the most up-to-date information so they know what to expect. Sometimes just knowing and understanding your sentence can be a great source of comfort in a very difficult time.
Below are some links that can help answer many questions about the Missouri Department of Corrections.
MDOC website: http://doc.mo.gov
MDOC inmate locator: https://web.mo.gov/doc/offSearchWeb
Probation and Parole website: http://doc.mo.gov/division_prob.php
MDOC visiting hours by facility: http://doc.mo.gov/division/dai/visitation.php
List of MDOC adult prisons: http://doc.mo.gov/division/dai/facilities_inst.php