(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A Justice Center prison guard is facing multiple charges of sexual contact with an inmate at the maximum security jail last year. 

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce filed eleven felony counts against Stephanie Rodgers Monday. The acts are alleged to have occurred in the prisoner’s cell and a security tower.  

Assistant Circuit Attorney Dan Proost said officials learned of the affair through phone taps that were part of a separate investigation. 

(Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill that would make it easier for children to visit their mothers in prison. It would launch a two-year test program requiring the Department of Corrections to provide monthly transportation for kids to see their moms at the prisons in Vandalia and Chillicothe.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, supporters say, if approved, the bill could have an impact on recidivism rates in Missouri.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

One day after Governor Jay Nixon (D) made his State of the State Address, the annual State of the Judiciary Address was delivered to Missouri lawmakers today.

Chief Justice Rick Teitelman kept his speech short, but did call for the General Assembly to pass changes to the state’s probation and parole system in order to ease Missouri’s prison population.

“I support your effort to help make sentencing practices more cost effective, helping Missouri to become, as Judge (former Chief Justice William) Price stressed so often and so eloquently, both tough and smart.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

 The ribbon was cut today on a $68 million federal courthouse in Jefferson City, named for former Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R).

 It replaces an older building, which shares space with a post office, and where judges, jurors, lawyers and criminal defendants all shared the same elevator.  Bond says the new facility is sorely needed.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

The Illinois Supreme Court calls it "absurd" to let inmates earn money in prison and then take it away to pay the cost of keeping them behind bars.

The court dismissed a lawsuit in which the Department of Corrections tried to take $11,000 from the savings of convicted murderer Kensley Hawkins. He saved the money working at a furniture-assembly job at a Joliet prison.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

A law enforcement group is supporting legislation to address a backlog of jail inmates waiting to be transferred to crowded state psychiatric facilities.

UPDATED 6:08 p.m. Jan. 10, 2011 with comment from Clay's attorney:

Last week we told you that supporters of Richard Clay asked Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon to halt Clay's execution. Well, now it seems that Nixon has granted their request.

The governor issued the following statement this afternoon:

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Ill. Gov. George Ryan, currently in prison, was allowed to leave prison Wednesday to visit his very ill wife, Lura Lynn.

The paper says that the visit was revealed when prosecutors filed response to a motion made by Ryan's lawyers  to let their client out on bail.

A federal judge has ruled that former Illinois Gov. George Ryan must remain in prison.

Ryan's attorneys want elements of his conviction tossed based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision curtailing anti-fraud laws - known as "honest services" laws.