Freshman Tour (Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind)
We started off from Jefferson City again. This time we headed for Fulton, where our first stop was at the Fulton Mental Health Center. This is where defendants are assessed to determine if they are mentally competent to stand trial, and to receive psychiatric intervention to remediate their diagnoses to be able to stand trial. The facility is undergoing a massive physical plant improvement that is sorely needed for the safety of the staff and for the clients. This was followed by a tour of the Missouri School for the Deaf, and then on to Vandalia to tour the Women’s Eastern Reception and Diagnostic Corrections Center. The School for the Deaf is beautiful facility that is undergoing some physical improvements. It is clear they are focussed on student achievement and success. The Women’s Corrections Center appears to have an administrative staff who are dedicated to providing a safe and orderly environment. Like the men’s facility we toured last week, they are in need of building improvements and incentives to retain employees. Next we headed up to Ladonia to tour an ethanol plant, and then on to Hannibal, where we were greeted by Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher among other dignitaries.
The group seems a little smaller this week. We are definitely missing some from last week, but we have also picked up a few people who weren’t on the tour last week.