JACKSON, MS – FWD.us Mississippi State Director Alesha Judkins issued the following statement today as the 2023 legislative session ended:
“Given Mississippi’s dangerously high and rising prison population, we’re encouraged that lawmakers rejected some harmful mandatory minimum bills that would have significantly increased the state’s prison population and cost taxpayers millions more a year while doing nothing to improve public safety. Unfortunately, SB 2101 – which creates mandatory minimum sentences for carjacking and armed carjacking – passed out of both chambers and is headed to the Governor’s desk. New mandatory minimum sentences will take power away from judges by limiting their discretion, and will mandate sentences that are already available in current law.
“In just the last year, Mississippi’s prison population has increased by an additional 3,000 people. Our growing prison population means our state now has the highest imprisonment rate in the country. The growing prison population is not making our communities safer. Even though the session is over, Mississippi’s leaders, including the Governor, Parole Board, and MDOC officials, must continue to prioritize fully implementing past criminal justice reforms, like parole, to safely reduce the state’s prison population. Ensuring people have meaningful second chances helps reduce recidivism, improve public safety, and strengthen our communities.”