Mississippi is experiencing an incarceration crisis, driven in large part by its use of long and life sentences. First-time drug possession can land you in prison for 20 years. Stealing tools from a garage can result in 25 years behind bars. On top of these already extreme sentences, people can have extra years, decades, or even life imprisonment added to their sentences if they have ever been convicted of crimes in the past. Today, far too many people are serving far too long in prison because of Mississippi’s habitual laws
Analysis by FWD.us demonstrates just how commonly these penalties are used and the ways in which they contribute to Mississippi’s unsustainably high prison population and corrections spending.