Mississippi Leaders Can Act Now to Reduce Extreme Sentences and Save Lives
A string of tragic and avoidable deaths in Mississippi prisons could soon be compounded by the COVID-19 crisis: this FWD.us report estimates that nearly every single person currently in Mississippi Department of Corrections custody is likely to become infected with the virus without bold, immediate action from Governor Reeves and state officials.
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 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.
Your Deep Dive: Criminal Justice Reform in Mississippi