Even with both chambers passing bills to address Mississippi’s dangerously high prison population, Mississippi will not see any habitual sentencing reform, and limited parole reform. While we believed these bills were off to a good start, the parole bill (SB 2785) was the only one to survive. Habitual sentencing reform died when lawmakers could not agree on the terms of probation for persons serving habitual sentences – leaving people languishing in prison for no valid reason. While SB 2795 will extend eligibility for parole hearings to some otherwise ineligible incarcerated persons, SB 2795 places more restrictions on crimes for which Black people are incarcerated at higher rates – potentially disproportionately impacting up to 62% of Black incarcerated persons.
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