ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri lawmakers are discussing the possibility of adding a state prison due to the rising population of inmates. Officials say prisons are operating at or near capacity with around 32,000 people incarcerated.

But Missouri Department of Corrections Director Ann Precythe says she would rather see money spent on keeping those inmates out of prison.

“Where are we getting the best bang for the buck, and that’s going to be keeping people in the community and then what are we doing to keep them in the community and help them not re-offend,” Precythe says.

House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick says he believes Missouri is on a collision course with a new prison.

“If it comes down to giving child molesters four months in jail or building a new prison, I’m in favor of building a new prison,” he says.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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