JACKSON, MS – FWD.us Mississippi State Director Alesha Judkins issued the following statement today in response to recent votes on criminal justice reform legislation during the 2021 legislative session:
“The strong bipartisan support for criminal justice reform in the legislature is a clear indication that lawmakers are serious about addressing Mississippi’s dangerously high prison population. Today we are one step closer to passing commonsense reforms, but there is still work to do so that these bills can ultimately be placed in front of Governor Reeves and signed into law.
“With the second-highest imprisonment rate in the country, Mississippi is trailing several of our neighboring states that have worked to reduce their prison population safely. These states have expanded parole and addressed excessive habitual laws, and they are reaping the benefits, such as reductions in spending on prisons and increased public safety. We desperately need similar reforms in Mississippi to address the state’s prison crisis, and SB 2795 and HB 796 puts us on the path to do just that.
“We urge the Legislature to expand SB 2795 further so that more Mississippians will have the opportunity to go before the parole board, and to pass HB 796 to limit extreme habitual sentences. These much-needed reforms will make prisons safer, reduce wasteful taxpayer spending, and restore hope to thousands of Mississippians and their families.”