For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2013
Contact: (573) 751-2459
Governor Signs into Law Sen. Wallingford's Legislation to Expand Access to Missouri's Successful
Dual Jurisdiction Program

JEFFERSON CITY—The governor signed into law yesterday Senate Bill 36, legislation sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, to strengthen Missouri’s Dual Jurisdiction program, which has proven to be an important tool in preventing recidivism rates amongst juvenile offenders.

The Dual Jurisdiction program allows 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. The program 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. Instead of being placed in adult prisons, where these youth often just become protégés to older criminals, these juveniles are placed in a separate system that not only better protects them from adult offenders, but also focuses on rehabilitation,” said Sen. Wallingford.

“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.

With the governor’s signature, Senate Bill 36 will go into effect on Aug. 28.

For more information on Sen. Wallingford’s sponsored legislation, visit his Senate website at