JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- “Together, our corrections officers and faith community can bring more safety to our streets, by working to make sure people in our prisons have a direction for their lives once they leave,” Governor Eric Greitens says.



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Gov. Eric Greitens is calling on churches and other faith organizations to help reduce the recidivism rate among the state’s prison inmates and to help minister to the state’s first responders and troubled communities they serve. The governor’s invitation on both issues signaled a new day on both issues and at a time when the state’s recidivism rate is climbing and with law enforcement, in particular, facing unprecedented challenges.  While details are yet to come, Greitens made his views known on both matters in his State of the State Address before the Missouri General Assembly Jan. 17 at the State Capitol.

“If somebody gets out of prison, we want them to go to work,” Greitens said. “We want them to pay their fair share in taxes. We want them to take care of their kids. We want them to set a good example. And the last thing we want is somebody coming out of prison and committing another crime which hurts another family and starts that same bad cycle all over again.

“People who are in prison should have a clear plan—from the day they enter—about what direction their lives will take the day they leave,” Greitens said. “To tackle this problem, we need to engage groups from across society: most importantly our faith community. I have seen that a turn towards faith can actually save lives in prison. And I will welcome our churches and our synagogues into our corrections facilities.”

However, according to this video report, the governor eliminated a $150,000 contract with St. Louis-based Criminal Justice Ministry. The organization claims approximately 80 percent of CJM’s clients are veterans who were incarcerated and need basic help reentering society.

Fox 2 says they reached out to Governor Greitens’ office for a statement but did not hear back.