Parole and Habitual Reforms Move a Step Forward as Mississippi Lawmakers Look to Address the State’s Prison Crisis

JACKSON, MS – Mississippi State Director Alesha Judkins issued the following statement today in response to parole and habitual reforms recently passing off the floor in the House and Senate:

“We are pleased that lawmakers are prioritizing critical habitual and parole reforms during this legislative session. For far too long, Mississippians have paid too high of a cost for a failed public safety strategy: wasted taxpayer dollars and the decades-long dismantling of countless families and communities. The current system locks Mississippians up for decades, and sometimes even for their entire lives, with few opportunities for release.

“With less than one month remaining in the 2021 legislative session, it is imperative that lawmakers continue to expand parole and habitual reforms and work to get them across the finish line and on to the Governor’s desk for signature. Settling for this system to remain the same can no longer be an option. The long-term consequences will prove to be too much for this state to bear. This year, the legislature must address this crisis by safely reducing our prison population and continuing to make commonsense reforms a priority.

“Several other neighboring states have already passed legislation to expand parole and reform habitual laws, and are reaping the benefits. Mississippi lawmakers must act now to finish what they started in 2020 by passing criminal justice reform legislation to save lives, reunite families, and reduce wasteful prison spending.”

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