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Missouri prisons head orders change after harassment claims

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 Department of Corrections 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 the parole board's chairperson and leadership at the Kansas City Re-entry Center.

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 that she says will lead to sanctions against responsible staff.

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

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