FWD.us Applauds Mississippi Leaders for Continuing Parole and
Prioritizing Public Safety

The Cost of Doing Business:

Why Criminal Justice Reform is the Right Investment to Strengthen Mississippi's Economy & Workforce

If Mississippi reduced its imprisonment rate to that of neighboring states, it could save anywhere from $60 million to $220 million a year. Advancing common sense criminal justice reform could improve the state’s low labor participation rate and strengthen the workforce, all while improving public safety.

This new report highlights how Mississippi can drive economic growth, meet critical workforce needs, and strengthen the state for businesses and families by fully implementing recent reforms and pursuing additional impactful policies to safely reduce incarceration.

Read more about how criminal justice reform is the right investment to help Mississippi’s economy.

How we got here and why we still have work to do

Mississippi’s prison population has grown 396% between 1980 and 2022. It currently has the highest imprisonment rate in the world. Despite recent reforms, the Mississippi prison population continues to increase because those reforms were not fully implemented and were too limited for Mississippi to see the same sustained decline in the state’s prison population that other states have experienced. Mississippi’s growing prison population imposes high costs on the state’s economy, communities and families without improving public safety. State lawmakers must continue to make critically needed and evidence-based criminal justice reforms a priority every legislative session and work with criminal justice practitioners to ensure past reforms are fully implemented.

Mississippi By the Numbers

How Mississippi’s incarceration crisis hurts everyone

Issue Center

Your Deep Dive:
Criminal Justice Reform in Mississippi