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Sheriffs in Missouri angry over parolee system, accuse state of using tax dollars to pay offenders

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Sheriffs in Missouri are less than satisfied with the new “rewards program” for Ozarks-area offenders on probation and parole, wondering where the money to pay for such perks comes from and denouncing is as a “Hug a Thug” program.

Known as “MOMM,” or the Missouri Offender Management Matrix, the system seemingly lives up to the coddling connotations of its acronym.

Providing offenders with monetary rewards and even early release, the program “incentivises” good behaviour by offering circus tickets, gas cards and other items.

“As I look through this Matrix, I realize this is the same Matrix that my granddaughter who is 2 years old has at her daycare!” said Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott.

Several heads of law enforcement were outraged, claiming that the offenders had no business being out of jail.

“It’s very dangerous for the public for a lot of these people to be out,” said Dallas County Sheriff Scott Rice, who recently had to investigate two killings by paroled offenders. “The double homicide- they started out stealing cars and on probation and parole, and that escalated into a double homicide,” Sheriff Rice explained. “How can you judge what the next step is going to be? If they can keep getting away with it, they’re going to feel more empowered until somebody ends up really hurt.”

The real question, however, is who is paying for the incentives program.

“I’ve got to have a paper trail for every dime that goes in and out, so there should be a paper trail from them there somewhere to back up where that money comes from,” Sheriff Rice said.

According to KY3, an official request by the news station to the Department of Corrections about the exchange of monetary gifts resulted in a cryptic reply:”We do not currently have a system in place for tracking the original source of each private donation.”

Sheriff Rice recently referred to MOMM as the “Hug a Thug” program on social media, resulting in a visit from the state.

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