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Prison Standards

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Written by Dr. Sarah Anderson
Published on July 9, 2024
Research Highlights

Table 1. Lists of items and programs provided by the Department of Corrections. Links to state statutes available in the PDF and in the works cited (MO DOC).

Learn more about physical safety and quality healthcare access in our Science Note Prison Misconduct.

Learn more about access to feminine hygiene products in our Science Note Feminine Hygiene Products and Prisons.

Learn more about inmate participation in different programs impact reentry in our Science Notes Reentry Programs and Services and Mental Health and Reincarceration.

Inmates, staff, and facilities have rules set by the DOC and legislation.

In MO, all inmates must adhere to the Offender Rulebook (DOC 2019). The rules of conduct have levels of severity (1 highest – 3 least) with corresponding corrective sanctions. Breaking level 1 rules includes actions such as murder, assault, or arson. Breaking level 2 or 3 rules includes a wide range of behaviors ranging from possession of a controlled substance to bribery to abuse of the telephone.

Staff also have policies they must follow (DOC 2024). Employees must report all work-related misconduct and occurrences of sexual abuse. They cannot have any unnecessary personal contact with offenders or offender’s families (e.g., unauthorized communication, joking, carrying messages) and cannot engage in solicitation or gambling. Sex with an offender is sexual abuse and a felony offense.

All prisons must follow the standards detailed in the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA 2012). This federal law prevents, investigates, provides treatment and collects data on all cases of sexual abuse in prisons.


Works Cited

Missouri Department of Corrections. (2019, April 29). Offender Rulebook. Retrieved from Missouri Department of Corrections: https://doc.mo.gov/sites/doc/files/media/pdf/2020/03/Offender_Rulebook_REVISED_2019.pdf

Missouri Department of Corrections. (2024, January). Missouri Department of Corrections Employee Handbook. Retrieved from Missouri Department of Corrections: https://doc.mo.gov/media/pdf/missouri-department-corrections-employee-handbook

Missouri Department of Corrections. (n.d.). Canteen/Property. Retrieved from Missouri Department of Corrections: https://doc.mo.gov/programs/family-friends/canteenproperty

U.S. Department of Justice. (2012, May 17). Prison Rape Elimination Act Prisons and Jail Standards. Retrieved from National PREA Resource Center: https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/content/prisonsandjailsfinalstandards_0.pdf

Food and clothing of offenders – food deprivation not to be used as punishment. XIII Rev MO § 217.240 (1995) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.240&bid=11755&hl=

Feminine hygiene products, available at no cost to female offenders. XIII Rev MO § 217.199 (2021) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.199&bid=50111&hl=

Health care services for correctional centers. XIII Rev MO § 217.230 (2023) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.230&bid=53775&hl=

Chaplain, appointment or arrangement for religious services. XIII Rev MO § 217.235 (1995) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.235&bid=11754

Program for offenders with substance abuse addiction – eligibility, disposition, placement – completion, effect. XIII Rev MO § 217.262 (2021) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.362&bid=50061&hl=

Education programs established, what included, enrollment required, when. XIII Rev MO § 217.355 (1995) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.355&bid=11778

Compensation of offenders for labor, academic or vocational classes – hours of work, exceptions – payment to state or crime victims’ compensation fund, when. XIII Rev MO § 217.255 (1995) https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=217.255&bid=11758

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