Criminal justice forum held at USM

Criminal justice forum held at USM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A criminal justice forum was held at Southern Miss Thursday, focusing on the challenges of the state penitentiary.

The Forum was called "Justice in the Mississippi State Penitentiary: Past Reflections, Present Challenges and Future Directions."

State Sen. Willie Simmons was among the panelist on the forum.

He spoke about the current conditions in Mississippi's prison system.

Simmons said there are many challenges that must be addressed.

He said funding is one of the greatest concerns.

Simmons feels that it is important that officials find ways to reduce crime and repeat offenders.

“Everywhere we look, it costs more to incarcerate, maintain and manage them, and turn them out a better citizen than it does to educate you and give you a college degree,” Simmons said. 

Newly appointed Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall was also in attendance at the forum.