Often times when an inmate is released from prison, they lack certain documents that would make their transition go smoother. Those documents include drivers licenses, Social Security cards and birth certificates.  A drivers license is required not only drive but to apply for work.

In HB 838 authored by Rep. Bain, the identification card issued by the Mississippi Department of Corrections could potentially suffice as a drivers license for an inmate who has been released for up to one year. The bill would require the Department of Public Safety to acknowledge the documents as legitimate.

Rep. Nick Bain

“This is a common problem for inmates not being able to get a job because they don’t have a photo ID,” said Bain. “It’s just another thing we are trying to do to assist in criminal justice reform.”

The bill reads: 

The department shall promulgate rules that allow an official identifying document issued by the Mississippi Department of Corrections to serve as an identifying document under this  section in lieu of a birth certificate or social security card for any person released from the custody of the Mississippi Department  of Corrections in the last twelve (12) months.

The act would take effect July 1, 2020. It was referred to Judiciary B and Transportation committees.

Senator Wiggins has a similar bill (SB 2526)  in the Senate that would require DPS to issue a temporary six-month drivers license to an individual who has been released from an MDOC. facility.