Missouri Legislature approves drug treatment pilot program

jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri Legislature has approved a bill aimed at directing more people away from prisons and toward treatment programs.

The bill, approved by the House Wednesday 138-11, creates a pilot program in Butler, Buchanan, and Boone counties to treat people struggling with addiction who might otherwise be incarcerated.

The bill also mandates that the attorney general create an electronic monitoring system to track rape kits, among other provisions.

Proponents say the bill improves the criminal justice system. Opponents say it would give emergency medical personnel too much power to detain people against their will.

The Senate had previously approved the bill. It next goes to the governor.

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The bill is HB 1355