Controversial prison reform bill passes legislature despite mixed reviews

Corrections reform bill passes

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State lawmakers passed controversial legislation on prison reform this week.

Senate Bill 2123 is designed to address overcrowding issues and dangerous conditions in our state prisons.

First and foremost if signed into law it would allow for convicts, even those with a violent past to be eligible for parole.

Parchman entrance
Parchman entrance (Source: WLBT)

Prison officials would also receive support with more resources to provide prisoners with job training and other skills.

Supporters of the bill say this would allow more offenders to become productive citizens once released.

J. Robertson of Empower Mississippi said, “The intent of that bill is to give corrections officials who are closest to the problem the tools they need to provide incentives to people who are incarcerated, so that they can participate in rehabilitative programs and work force training so that when they do re-enter our communities they are prepared to go to work and that creates safer communities for everyone.”

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey has been outspoken against the bill.

On his Facebook page he said that violent offenders would only have to serve 50 percent of what a judge sentences.

He says that increases the chance of a repeat violent offender posing a threat to a community.

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