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We All Pay: Mississippi’s Harmful Habitual Laws

Mississippi Surpasses Oklahoma as Second-Highest Imprisoning State

Mississippi has been steadily climbing back up the top imprisoning states list and has now moved from third to second highest imprisoning state in the nation. The state’s failure in recent years to pass any meaningful sentencing and parole reforms to target extreme sentences bucks the trend in other top imprisoning states where impactful criminal justice reforms are successfully and safely driving prison populations down.

Mississippi has an incarceration crisis, driven in large part by its use of habitual sentences.



Long prison sentences have become the norm in Mississippi. First-time drug possession can land you in prison for 20 years. Stealing tools from a garage can result in 25 years behind bars. On top of these already extreme sentences, people can have extra years, decades, or even life imprisonment added to their sentences if they have ever been convicted of crimes in the past because of the state’s habitual laws.

Learn how these extreme penalties keep families apart and hold the state back.

Mississippi needs
criminal justice reform now.

Mississippi voters across the political spectrum support bold criminal justice reforms. In fact, four out of five registered voters believe it is important to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated, and only three percent want to spend additional tax dollars on jails and prisons.

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Your Deep Dive:
Criminal Justice Reform in Mississippi

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The Hollins Family

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We All Pay: Mississippi’s Harmful Habitual Laws

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The Houser Family

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Mississippi Surpasses Oklahoma as Second-Highest Imprisoning State

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Governor Bryant Opens Mississippi Summit on Criminal Justice Reform

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FWD.us Statement on Mississippi’s Crossover Deadline and the Legislation Advancing to Limit…

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Latest Data Shows Mississippi Now Ranked As Second Highest Imprisoner in the…

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FWD.us Statement on Newly Announced Department of Justice Investigation Into Mississippi Prison…

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New Report Reveals Source of Long Prison Sentences and Huge Costs to…

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FWD.us Statement on the Passage of “The Criminal Justice Reform Act”

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FWD.us Statement on Senate Passage of “The Criminal Justice Reform Act”

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FWD.us Statement on “The Criminal Justice Reform Act”

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Editorial on need for continued efforts on criminal justice reform

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FWD.us Statement on Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s Veto of SB 2841

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FWD.us Statement on Ceremonial Signing of Key Mississippi Criminal Justice Reform Bill

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FWD.us Statement on Signing of Mississippi House Bill 387

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FWD.us Statement on Mississippi House Bill 387

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FWD.us to lead expanded line of work, hires criminal justice reform expert