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Num. 4 - Fall / Winter 2016-17

This is our fourth issue and we are well along planning the next three issues of the journal.

Two of the articles in this issue address criminal court issues, but in different ways, highlighting interesting methodologies used to study Missouri courts. One article discusses an innovative court process known as a “treatment court” as a method used to help drug offenders. The other article examines whether race has been the basis for sentencing disparities in Missouri courts and concludes that external factors (such as criminal history, age, and severity of a crime) have mattered more. Both articles together provide insightful and instructive ways to examine and understand aspects of the Missouri court system.

The third article studies the impact of the United States Supreme Court case, Obergefell v Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriages across the country in 2015. It focuses on Missouri counties in particular, noting that some were slower than others in implementing the high court’s ruling. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, in fact, married four same-sex couples in June 2014, a year before the court handed down its decision.

The fourth article focuses on the departure of the St. Louis Rams. As this essay concludes, “[The] Rams saga serves as a cautionary tale to governments throughout the United States.”

We hope these articles continue our aim of providing readable yet scholarly articles that address issues of importance to Missouri in ways that avoid, if not transcend, the often ideologically-tainted approaches toward policy discussion that dominate cable TV news, where liberal versus conservative is supposed to mean something and, oftentimes, only serves to cloud discussions of important issues.

With this issue we added an additional feature: charts that show some data on issues of importance to Missouri (SNAP, Social Security, and Unemployment). Future issues will also include other policy relevant information presented in similar formats. These three charts were completed by a Lindenwood University student, Aaron Azkoul, who did them through our GIS program.

Joseph A. Cernik, Editor

Cover: Barb Hutchinson - The photo is of two of the 85 horses at the Renaissance Rescue Ranch near Farmington, Missouri. Get up close and personal with a thoroughbred race horse. Tours are available. In addition, horses are available for adoption. Visit their website for more information -

Copy Editor: Shelley Walton


Correctional Reform in Red States: Missouri's Role

Joseph M. Zlatic, PhD
Jeannie Thies, PhD

Approximately ten years ago, a conservative-led movement to engage in various forms of correctional and sentencing reform emerged. This movement extends to broader acceptance within the criminal justice field to implement less traditional forms of sentencing, including alternative sentences that incorporate rehabilitative components. A decade later, this policy debate has gained significant traction throughout many conservative states that have traditionally relied upon mass incarceration as the chief means of crime control. Recent scholarly evidence suggests that the reform efforts within these conservative states have met with success in reducing prison populations and the development of rehabilitative strategies increasingly in line with public opinion polls. Moreover, these reforms have brought greater focus to evidence-based practices and increasing attention to empirically-derived evidence of “what works” in reducing recidivism. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of a drug court in a Missouri judicial circuit as an example of how such efforts have spread throughout Missouri. We offer recommendations for policymakers seeking to support this largely bipartisan issue and take advantage of what may be a shrinking window of opportunity.

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Implementing Marriage: The Issuance of Marriage Licenses in Missouri after Obergefell

Jessica Loyet Gracey, PhD

The Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. Some Missouri counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately, while others did not until two weeks following the decision. The study examines attempts to explain the differences in the amount of time that counties in Missouri took to implement the Obergefell ruling. Factors such as partisanship, education, religion, and the service industry in each county are examined. The findings indicate that only educational levels in each county are a statistically significant predictor of when a county began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Missouri Sentencing and Race: A Closer Look from 2007-2015

Grant Shostak, JD
Ryan V. Guffey, PhD

Contrary to the perception, it is judges, not juries, that typically determine the sentence for a convicted criminal defendant. While all citizens are to be treated equal under the law, recent cries to overhaul our criminal justice system came to a head following the wake of Officer Darren Wilson’s (Caucasian) shooting and killing of Michael Brown (African-American) in Ferguson, Missouri. This paper attempts to examine sentencing practices of Missouri courts from 2007-2015, covering a time period both before and after Brown’s death in 2014.

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The St. Louis Rams: The Greatest Public Financing Show on Earth

Eric Click, PhD

This case study research explores how and why the National Football League (NFL) Rams both arrived in St. Louis (in 1995) and departed St. Louis (in 2016). In order to address these questions, through archival and secondary data, the research examines the unique interrelated history of St. Louis and the NFL, including both economics and public financing. As a result, the research is presented in five sections: introduction, NFL economics, St. Louis and the NFL, St. Louis and no NFL, and final remarks. Note: to more fully understand this article, please first read “One Development Project, Two Economic Tales: The St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village” in the Missouri Policy Journal 2 (Fall/Winter).

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GIS Maps

SNAP Usage by Congressional District - 2013

Social Security Usage in Missouri by County - 2014

Missouri Unemployment by County - 2015


Guidelines For Authors

Providing a guideline as to the length of articles submitted is difficult since we aim to publish pieces which cover a topic in-depth and with a policy emphasis. Potential authors may want to contact the editor (jcernik@lindenwood.etestdu) to better determine relevancy and length. We are interested in receiving proposals for articles and will quickly respond to such inquiries. We are interested in a wide variety of issues affecting Missouri affairs. Furthermore, our interest can extend to topics that touch upon interstate and Midwest issues that highlight Missouri. National issues that focus on Missouri are equally welcome. Bear in mind that the words “detached and analytical” and “can be read by the average educated adult reader” used in the Purpose Statement are of paramount importance. Submissions will be sent to a reviewer (Missouri Policy Journal is a peer review journal) as well as a copy editor.

The basic standards are that submissions use the Chicago Manual (sometimes known as the Turabian) style of footnoting. An abstract will also be needed. Footnotes should be at the bottom of the page on which you cited the source. Authors can see the footnote style by examining a current issue and by examining guidelines here: A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Please note that when citing online sources you need to include in your footnote the date you accessed the source and a link to the article or study in addition to the standard footnote information, such as title of the article or study, author’s name (where applicable), page number (if there is one), date, etc. (You can see examples of footnotes for both print and online sources by visiting the link to Turabian footnotes above.) Because the Internet is constantly changing and the link to the source you cited may be gone by the time we publish an issue, including the access date shows the reader that the link was active when you conducted research, and making sure to include the other source details regarding title, date, etc., ensures that the reader can still find the original source should they so desire. If much time has passed from when you started your research to the time you send us the article, please check to see if the link still works—if it doesn't and you can find the information at a new, working link, please use the working link in your footnote. If the information is simply gone and you can’t find another link, please include the original link you used (with full source information and the access date, readers will understand that the link was active at the time you conducted research).

The journal will be published twice a year (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer). For the most part, we aim for four articles per issue. In addition, we are interested in shorter pieces by policymakers for a segment titled “One Perspective.” These pieces are not necessarily written in the same way articles are written, but are more like commentary pieces, or they might provide insight policymakers, public officials, newspaper editors, and journalists would like to share. Furthermore, we are also interested in review pieces which address publications or websites that are relevant to Missouri.

Editorial Board

Joseph A. Cernik, PhD
Chair, Department of Public Affairs & Administration
Professor of Political Science & Public Administration
Lindenwood University

Howard J. Wall, PhD
Associate Editor
Professor of Economics
Director, Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise
Lindenwood University

Jeanie Thies, PhD
Professor of Political Science
Director, Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program
Lindenwood University

Eric Click, PhD
Associate Professor of Public Administration
Program Coordinator of Public Administration
ASPA Secretariat to the Institute of Public Administration Canada (IPAC)
Hauptmann School of Public Affairs
Park University - Downtown Kansas City Campus

Rik Hafer, PhD
Professor of Economics
Director, Center for Economics and the Environment
Lindenwood University

Jessica Loyet Gracy, PhD
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Northwest Missouri State University

Board of Oversight

Board members represent a variety of professions. The views expressed in the articles are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors, the editorial board, the members of the Board of Oversight, or Lindenwood University. Board members are involved by: 1) suggesting topics that should be addressed in future issues of the journal, and; 2) sometimes recommending people to write articles (following the guidelines for authors). Their input is valuable to the journal being relevant to Missouri affairs.

Ted House
Circuit Judge
Division 1, 11th Judicial Circuit Court

Mike Ferguson
Missouri Viewpoints
Missouri Watchdog

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301