WASHINGTON, DC – New polling released today shows that Mississippi voters support ambitious reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. Four out of five registered voters, including large majorities across the political spectrum, believe it is important to reduce the number of people behind bars in Mississippi.
“These poll results couldn’t be clearer: Mississippi voters support the state’s past efforts, and overwhelmingly support continued efforts to reform its criminal justice system,” said FWD.us President Todd Schulte. “With the 2019 legislative session fast approaching, lawmakers have a clear mandate enact common-sense policies that will safely reduce incarceration and save taxpayer dollars”
Overwhelmingly, Mississippi voters believe that the state’s criminal justice system is not working, with 68 percent of voters believing the system needs “significant improvements.” Nearly 80 percent of voters believe it is important to reduce the state’s jail and prison populations, and they also believe that incarceration makes people more likely to commit crimes in the future.
By a wide margin, Mississippians want to make changes in their state’s criminal justice system and support common-sense policy reforms that would safely reduce incarceration. This includes ensuring that people are not locked in prison for years for low-level crimes like drug possession and revisiting the state’s habitual enhancement laws, both of which are priorities for Mississippi voters.
These important results come at a critical time for state policymakers. Mississippi currently has the third highest incarceration rate in the country. While other Southern states are safely reducing incarceration, Mississippi’s incarceration rate is on the rise and the state still spends more than $360 million dollars each year on its bloated prison system.