If Mississippi lawmakers don’t act quickly, the state may lose control of its prison system to federal authorities, costing taxpayers
untold sums while people continue to suffer and die behind bars. Neighboring Alabama provides a cautionary tale of the costs of
inaction. After several lawsuits and a federal investigation into its prison conditions, Alabama is slated to spend nearly $1 billion
addressing its crisis. It’s not too late for Mississippi to avoid this fate, but lawmakers must take immediate steps to reduce the
state’s dangerously high prison population.