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Public panel to discuss money spent on Missouri criminal justice system

Five experts of the Missouri criminal justice system will deliver remarks and answer questions about the current state of the system and potential upcoming legislation. (MGN Online)

The Show-Me Institute will host a panel "Behind Bars in Missouri: Who Is Paying the Price?" on Tuesday.

Five experts of the Missouri criminal justice system will deliver remarks and answer questions about the current state of the system and potential upcoming legislation.

The experts include:

  • Jennifer Bukowsky, a criminal defense and constitutional attorney
  • Aaron Hedlund, an assistant economic professor at the University of Missouri
  • Barry Langford, Chair of the Criminal Justice Administration Department at Columbia College
  • Nicole Volkert, a former prosecuting attorney
  • Eric Schmitt, Missouri State Treasurer

Barry Langford said it is important for the public to know where their money is going.

"It's an important topic because all of the money and public resources that are devoted to criminal justice whether those are being used most efficiently now with all the competing priorities that are existing for public services," Langford said.

He also said the public should be involved in discussions about how public money will be spent in the future.

"I think more generally just is the amount of money being spent on prison as a punishment now the most effective way to spend resources when you have competing needs of healthcare and education from state budget in addition to criminal justice," Langford said. "The spending on corrections related expenditures has gone up quite a bit in the last 20 to 30 years."

Tuesday's panel discussion will be at 5:30 p.m. at Bixby Hall on the Columbia College campus.

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