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(LISTEN): Missouri’s auditor says DOC is prioritizing job training for long-term prisoners

(LISTEN): Missouri’s auditor says DOC is prioritizing job training for long-term prisoners

A new 48-page audit of a workforce program involving state prisoners says Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) is lacking in oversight and has not been prioritizing job training for prisoners who will be released the soonest.

State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick joined us live on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri”, telling listeners that the audit was looking to see if MVE is fulfilling the statutory mission that state lawmakers tasked it with.

“That mission is to prepare offenders who are in state custody for their release. And to make it so that those offenders when they go back out into society have knowledge or a skill that they can employ to take opportunity to get gainful employment when they get released,” says Fitzpatrick.

Auditor Fitzpatrick found that MVE employs 892 inmates in 12 state prisons. He says only 49 percent of MVE prisoners are expected to be released in the next five years. His audit finds that there are currently no MVE facilities in the Algoa Correctional Center in Jefferson City and in the Boonville Correctional Center. Fitzpatrick tells listeners that only five of the 12 prisons with an average remaining sentence of less than five years have a MVE facility.

“Indicates that the department has prioritized placing in these facilities in those institutions or in those prisons that have longer-term offenders that are going to be in prison for a lot longer and that is not consistent with the statutory mission,” Fitzpatrick says.

Auditor Fitzpatrick also found that 21 of the 22 MVE program facilities are at full-capacity, which means no positions are currently available for short-term inmates in the majority of program facilities.

You can listen to the full interview with Auditor Fitzpatrick here.