Lawmakers consider how to avoid dumping inmates back into old, criminal lives

Published 5:19 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

Mississippi lawmakers say they could consider programs aimed at helping former inmates establish productive lives as they leave prison.

House and Senate committees heard Monday from the state corrections commissioner, a state judge, a federal judge, and advocates from liberal and conservative groups.

Many speakers said lawmakers need to address what causes former prisoners to commit new offenses and get sent back into custody.

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Hal Kittrell of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association says the state should invest in vocational training and re-entry programs.

U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett says Mississippi needs to have “meaningful” supervision of former prisoners.

Monday night is the deadline for the introduction of bills. House and Senate chairmen said a comprehensive criminal justice bill was still being drafted and was not available hours before the deadline.