In Mississippi, we lock up more people per capita than China and Russia combined and have the second highest incarceration rate in the country. Many factors have contributed to this crisis – for example, pushing our children out of school, ignoring the mental health needs of our community members, and failing to break the cycle of poverty. A disturbing development in recent years is the Mississippi Department of Corrections relinquishing to private, for-profit companies its responsibility to ensure prisoner and staff safety.
For-profit prison companies are naturally incentivized to lock up as many people as possible, keep them there as long as possible, and make sure they return to prison as many times as possible. The for-profit companies operating in Mississippi have abysmal records of inhumane conditions, lack of supervision, poor mental health and other healthcare. services, prisoner abuse and violence – all while raking in $77 million per year of Mississippi taxpayer funds for their shareholders. And they invite corruption. Former MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps pled guilty on February 25, 2015, to accepting bribes in exchange for favors to the private prison industry.
Not 'Soft on Crime': Clergy Want Prison Reforms to Become Law
We stay inspired by the truly diverse coalition that’s formed to advance smart criminal law reform in MS. That said, we’re one of 9 states w/ highest incarceration rates that actually saw rates increase in most recent year of available stats.
SB 2841 would limit suspension of a driver's license for controlled substance violations when the violation actually involves driving. Licenses can currently be suspended for any violation of the controlled substance law, regardless of whether the individual was driving.
"Among the hundreds of mentally ill prisoners at EMCF are many whose untreated illnesses lead to extreme behaviors such as screaming, babbling, throwing excrement, and starting fires. Suicide attempts are frequent; some are successful."
"Defendants have the duty & responsibility to provide safe and humane conditions.... They have abdicated this responsibility by turning MDOC facilities over to private for-profit contractors and then failing to monitor the contractors' performance or hold them accountable."
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