The prison population in MO is at 105% capacity with 85% recidivism. The rehab programs in prison have been determined not to be effective by a recent Prison Reform Task Force. Missouri ranks 8th in the nation for incarceration levels and first for incarcerating women. Missouri’s 370 public defenders worked on 82,000 cases in a recent year which could violate a person’s right to a fair trial with so little time being spent preparing the case. It is reported that 95% of the nation’s two million+ prisoners took a plea bargain rather than take their chances of proving their innocence in a trial. In Texas County, located in South Central Missouri, there is a 29.9% poverty level, giving them a ranking of second in the state. People awaiting trial cannot pay the exorbitant bail amounts so their lives disintegrate while they wait months for trial in jail. During that time, the stability they created in their lives disintegrates. There is a revolving door for people in this county to go in and out of jail and prison with the same recurring charges. Sweetwater Network, Inc. has been created to help people re-establish their lives and break this cycle.
“Every time there are losses, there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression and resentment or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider and deeper.”