Missouri prisons head orders change after harassment claims

Anne Precythe

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The head of Missouri’s prison system is implementing a zero-tolerance policy for managers who fail to respond to reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct.

New Missouri Corrections Department Director Anne Precythe’s Friday announcement follows claims of widespread harassment of prison employees by co-workers and millions of dollars in legal payouts by the state.

Precythe says new leadership is “badly needed.” She’s replacing leadership at the Kansas City Re-entry Center, and Gov. Eric Greitens appointed a new Parole Board chairman.

She says new management is coming to the St. Louis Community Release Center, where an inmate suicide occurred in October. Precythe ordered a review of the incident. She says there will be sanctions against responsible staff.

Precythe also created an Office of Professional Standards and is meeting with leadership Friday.

This story has been corrected to show Gov. Eric Greitens appointed a new parole board chairman, not Anne Precythe.