Continuing Parole and Pursuing Other Commonsense Reforms Will Advance Public Safety,
Strengthen Communities, and Boost Our Economy

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.

We want to hear from you

At FWD.us, we believe that incarcerated people and their families know what is needed to end Mississippi’s incarceration crisis. If you or someone in your life has been incarcerated in Mississippi, please consider filling out a short survey to get in touch. If you have a loved one that is currently incarcerated that would like to share their own story, please email ms-stories@fwd.us, and we will mail a survey form to their facility.

Issue Center

Your Deep Dive:
Criminal Justice Reform in Mississippi

  • Policy & Reports
  • Mississippi

High Cost, Low Return: Mississippi’s Ongoing Incarceration Crisis

Keep reading

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

NEW Report: Criminal Justice Reform Can Strengthen Mississippi’s Economy and Workforce

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

As Session Ends, Legislators Block Some Harmful Mandatory Minimum Bills, But More…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us: Urgent Need to Advance Policies that Safely Reduce Mississippi’s High Prison…

  • Blog
  • Criminal Justice

An Opportunity for Commonsense Bipartisan Solutions

  • Reports
  • Criminal Justice

The Cost of Doing Business

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Can’t Afford Longer Sentences and Mandatory Minimums

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mandatory Minimums Are Not the Answer

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mandatory Minimum Sentences Won’t Make Mississippi Safer

  • Press Release
  • Criminal Justice

NEW Report: “High Cost, Low Return: Mississippi’s Ongoing Incarceration Crisis” Makes Case…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

One Year After Widely Supported Parole Reform Went into Effect, Mississippi’s Parole…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Hundreds of Mississippians Now Eligible for Parole, Paving the Way to Reunite…

  • Blog
  • Criminal Justice

Juneteenth: Commemorating a Promise of Freedom

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves Signs Bipartisan Parole Bill Into Law, Restoring Hope…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Lawmakers Take Step in the Right Direction to Pass Meaningful Criminal…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

New Research Shows How Parole Reforms in Mississippi Can Save Up to…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Parole and Habitual Reforms Move a Step Forward as Mississippi Lawmakers Look…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Lawmakers Must Pass Commonsense Reforms This Session to Save Lives and…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

As Severe Winter Weather Impact Compounds Poor Conditions in Mississippi’s Dangerous Prison…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Lawmakers Advance Commonsense Criminal Justice Reform

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Applauds Mississippi Lawmakers for Working to Address Prison Crisis During 2021…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Responds to Governor Reeves’ State of the State Address

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Releases New Research Underscoring the Need for Immediate Parole Reform in…

  • Blog
  • Criminal Justice

The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Parole in Mississippi

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Research Demonstrates the Harm Long Prison Sentences Have on Mississippi Taxpayers,…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Emphasizes the Urgent Need for Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform During 2021…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Urges Action on Criminal Justice Reform on the One-Year Anniversary of…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Highlights Gains and Missed Opportunities for Criminal Justice Reform During 2020…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Responds to Recent MDOC Statement Regarding the State’s Prison Population

  • Blog
  • Criminal Justice

The Costs of Inaction: How Mississippi Can Learn From Alabama’s Experience

  • News
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Urges Mississippi Legislators to Curb COVID-19 Spread by Overriding Governor’s SB…

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Statement on Governor Reeves Decision to Veto SB 2123

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Statement Urges Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves to Sign Parole Expansion Bill…

  • Blog
  • Criminal Justice

Juneteenth: Honoring the Ongoing Struggle for Freedom

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Lawmakers Urged to Improve and Advance Legislation to Safely Reduce Prison…

  • News
  • Criminal Justice

Mississippi Prisons are no Place for a Pandemic

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Statement on Governor Reeves’ Failure to Consider Release for Incarcerated People…

  • Reports
  • Coronavirus

Data Shows COVID-19 in Mississippi Prisons is a Public Health Crisis

mississippi criminal justice building
  • Press Statement
  • Coronavirus

FWD.us Statement on Projected Increase of COVID-19 Cases in Mississippi Prisons

  • Press Release
  • Coronavirus

FWD.us Urges Mississippi Officials to Protect Incarcerated People Amid Confirmed Positive COVID-19…

mississippi criminal justice building
  • News
  • Mississippi

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

  • Press Release
  • Criminal Justice

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

  • News
  • Criminal Justice

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

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Statement on Recent Deaths at Mississippi Prison Facilities

  • Stories
  • Mississippi

The Hollins Family

  • Press Release
  • Mississippi

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

  • Stories
  • Criminal Justice

The Houser Family

  • Policy & Reports
  • Criminal Justice

We All Pay: Mississippi’s Harmful Habitual Laws

mississippi criminal justice building
  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

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

mississippi criminal justice building
  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

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

mississippi criminal justice building
  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

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

  • Press Release
  • Criminal Justice

ICYMI: Clergy for Prison Reform Held Policy Summit for Criminal Justice Reform

  • Press Statement
  • Mississippi

FWD.us Statement on Mississippi Governor’s State-of-the-State Address

  • Press Release
  • Criminal Justice

NEW POLL: Mississippians Strongly Support Ambitious Criminal Justice Reform

  • Press Release
  • Criminal Justice

Editorial on need for continued efforts on criminal justice reform

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

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

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

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

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Statement on Signing of Mississippi House Bill 387

  • Press Statement
  • Criminal Justice

FWD.us Statement on Mississippi House Bill 387

  • Press Release
  • Criminal Justice

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