WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us Senior Director of Criminal Justice Reform Zoë Towns issued the following statement today on the signing of Reentry & Employability Reforms (HB 387) in Mississippi:
“We applaud Governor Phil Bryant for signing HB 387 today to make urgently-needed reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. We congratulate the legislative leaders who championed this important bill including Senate President Tate Reeves (R), House Speaker Philip Gunn (R), Representative Andy Gipson (R), Representative Joel Bomgar (R), and Senator Jenifer Branning (R).
“While Mississippi has made strides in recent years in safely reducing crime and incarceration, significant challenges remain, including for those reentering the community from prison or jail. House Bill 387 will ease this transition and reduce recidivism by prohibiting the use of jail for nonpayment of fees and fines, allowing supervision officers to use video call technology to conduct check-ins with minimal disruption to employment, and expanding retroactive parole eligibility for individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes. Additionally, the bill will lay the groundwork for further reforms by establishing the Mississippi Sentencing Disparity Task Force.
“With the signing of HB 387, Governor Bryant has joined Mississippi legislators in redoubling the state’s commitment to building safer communities and stronger families. We hope this progress will also encourage speedy passage of two remaining criminal justice reform bills, SB 2841 and SB 2675, and look forward to celebrating these victories for and with all Mississippians.”