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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Prison Law

Credit: WCBI
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Prison Law
Prison Law
There are more than 18 thousand inmates in Mississippi prisons.

There are more than 18 thousand inmates in mississippi prisons.

Crowded cells, understaffed guards and institutional violence set state facilities on lockdown earlier this year.

Two bills supporters say would have been pivotal to help reform prisons... have been vetoed by governor tate reeves .... our quentin smith speaks with advocates and state leaders and has more on the impact of the decision... governor tate reeves vetoed prison reform bills that would've allowed thousands of prisoners to become eligible for parole.... and it would've allowed them to get three separate felony incidents erased from their record... prison reform advocates say they're stunned by the governor's decision..

"really it was a big letdown for the families of the inmates who would've benefited from it."

Anthony swift says when it comes to the state's prison reform it's something he's passionate about... see, it's a issue that affects him personally... "i've been an advocate for about 12 years, i've served time for drug related offenses."

The west point man says he knows the importance of inmates being eligible for parole, that's why he hoping senate bill 2123 would get passed.

"it would've made people who had received those harsh sentences become eligible for parole after serving 25 percent of their sentence , if they were non- violent.

That doesn't mean that they necessarily would've made it, but it would've given them a ray of hope, and the people with violent offenses, they would've been eligible for parole after they serve 50 percent."

The governor also vetoed house bill 658..

Which would have allowed prisoners to have three separate felonies erased from their record..

District 38 representative cheikh taylor says the voted in favor of both measures..

"we have to make sure that those who are being incarcerated that there is a sense of fairness, that these people are able to be paroled, that these brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, are able to see the light of day, especially for nonviolent violent."

The state currently faces a federal lawsuit due to the poor conditions and overcrowding at its prison facilities... that's why lawmakers worked to pass these two bills..

But with the governor's veto..

Swift says the state is now taking a step backwards on improving prison reform.

"that would have released up to two thousand prisoners which would have saved the state 30 million dollars."

"we're going to go back as soon as possible to make sure that we send a resounding sound to our constituents that criminal justice reform is going to happen under our watch."

Governor tate reeves says the bills had good intentions..

But went too far... it would take a two-thirds vote in the house and senate to override the governor's veto... reporting in lowndes county..

Quentin smith..

Wcbi news... to read reeves' full comments on his vetoes... just visit our website wcbi dot com... stinger

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