For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2013

Contact: (573) 751-2459

Senate Approves Sen. Wallingford's Legislation to Strengthen Missouri's Dual Jurisdiction Program

JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Senate gave final approval on Thursday (3-8) to Senate Bill 36, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau. The legislation expands the eligibility of the state’s Dual Jurisdiction program.

The Dual Jurisdiction program was created in 1995 as part of a comprehensive bill passed by the Missouri Legislature in response to rising crime rates. The program allows juvenile offenders under the age of 17 who have been certified as adults to remain in the custody of the Division of Youth Services instead of placement in the adult prison population. It also seeks to rehabilitate Missouri’s youngest offenders through various services in an effort to reduce recidivism rates, which are often higher for juvenile inmates.

“Missouri’s Dual Jurisdiction program is nationally recognized as a model system for dealing with juvenile offenders,” said Sen. Wallingford. “It keeps young inmates safe, and it also focuses on rehabilitating them before they become locked into a life of revolving-door incarceration.”

“Unfortunately, though, the program is currently underutilized, mostly due to delays in the court system and vague language in the law,” Sen. Wallingford continued. “Senate Bill 36 makes two minor changes to the program to allow more youth the opportunity of placement in Dual Jurisdiction.”

Under the bill, the timeframe under which juveniles can be considered for the program is extended from 17 years old to 17 and a half. This provision accounts for inherent delays in the court system and will allow more youth to be placed in Dual Jurisdiction.

The legislation also clarifies that judges should consider Dual Jurisdiction as an option for juvenile offenders who have been certified as adults. The legislation does not require judges to place offenders in Dual Jurisdiction; it simply encourages the courts to consider it.

For more information on Senate Bill 36, please visit Sen. Wallingford’s Senate website at