JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - For even the most supported and motivated, having a criminal record triggers legal and informal barriers that diminish access to services and opportunities. These barriers impact tens of millions of people with records and their families.

Moreover, racial disparities persist across the criminal justice system, such that people of color are disproportionately affected by barriers to reentry. When policies and practices make it difficult for people to succeed in their communities, it perpetuates inequities and fuel disparities in employment, health care, treatment, and housing access.

To alleviate these problems, ReEntry2030, a national initiative that aims to improve reentry success for people exiting prison and those under supervision, is calling on leaders from all 50 states to act and pledge to a decade-long journey in bringing reentry systems to scale and making reintegration a reality for every person.

Today, Missouri becomes the first state in the U.S. to join Reentry 2030. Gov. Mike Parson, alongside many employment agencies, will officially announce the state's dedication to the initiative at the capitol building in Jefferson City.

According to the Missouri Department of Corrections, over13,000 inmates are released each year.

As a national leader for reentry, the department has joined an initiative the aims to dramatically improve success for people exiting prisons.

MDOC reported that 59% of offenders are imprisoned for drug related offenses and 93% of those that return to prison required substance abuse treatment on the outside.

The Reentry 2030 initiative implements plans for stable housing, education, employment skills training, behavioral health treatment, and healthcare to ensure both economic and personal success. Participants in the initiative commit to bring together diverse teams of stakeholders, establish public goals and milestones, and track and share progress.

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