Should Drug Offenders Get Food Stamps?

by Lora McDonald, Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission

The Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission, through the Second Chance Program, has created a metro wide strategy to respond to prisoner reentry, reducing recidivism and increasing public safety, through research, advocacy and funding programs. They have developed the Kansas City Metropolitan Reentry Coalition which responds to issues that impact people returning to community from incarceration. Senate Bill 34 addresses an important reentry issue.

Senate Bill 34, sponsored by Senator Yvonne Wilson of Kansas City, was designed to lift the Food Stamp ban for people with felony drug convictions in Missouri. In 1996, under the Clinton Administration, states were allowed to “opt out” of providing Food Stamps to people who had any drug related felony. Missouri adopted a lifetime ban, whereby no one convicted of a drug related felony can ever get Food Stamps in this state. Kansas adopted this also but smartly reversed their ban in 2005. Missouri is one of 13 states continuing to deny Food Stamps to otherwise eligible people with drug related felonies.

Should drug offenders get Food Stamps? The reality is that it more broadly impacts people than one could imagine. Consider, for example, the woman who has completed probation, regained her sobriety and has been in recovery while working, paying taxes and voting. She has been raising her family successfully for years and now gets laid off under the current economy. She can not get Food Stamps (her children can) and will suffer consequences for a mistake in her distant past. The Bill was unanimously voted out of committee but needs your support to pass!

If you would like to learn more about Senate Bill 34, or the Kansas City Metropolitan Reentry Coalition, contact Lora McDonald at (816)285-8668 or .


Do you know notice when to whach best on site movies of [url=] hot videos [/url]
of very very hottest Star Daisy Maire running

I was released from prison on Aug 25,09. I have 3 kids and qualify for disability. I am way below the poverty level and was just informed I no longer qualified for food stamps because of a felony frug conviction. My income is less than $650 a month, I have to pay my bills just like everyone else and I have to feed my kids. I can't do this without the help of food stamps. I live in a small town and the food pantry's just can't help enough. Just because a person makes a bad choice does not make them a bad person. People with convictions way worse still qualify for assistance. I just don't understand. And this ban is forever. Missouri just does not make sense I think they should rethink this decision because it is a hard punishment.

That is exactly how I feel. How fair is it for sex offenders, murdrers, robers to get the assistance and the drug fellons can't. I believe maybe give us a chance set some guidelines and even random drug testing would be great. I think the abuse of the foodstamp system is abbuses by many different people the just the drug offenders. I believe it a women rehabitates and would be willing to drop they should be reinstated.

I see both sides of this everyday. It is a win or lose situation. The ultimate suffers will be the children if the assistance is taken away from the parent. But, the system is so much abused, there has to be another way to make the recipient more accountable. They should concentrate on the amount of fraud that is committed daily with the food stamp assistance before terminating the funds from drug offenders. What is worse, drug offenders or murderers/sex offenders on assistance?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6><img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.

HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at