518 druggies may get house arrest

A bill awaiting Gov. Haley Barbour’s signature would allow 518 drug offenders to be placed on house arrest at a possible annual savings to the Department of Corrections of roughly $5 million.

“All these people will be nonviolent offenders,” said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps.

There may be objections to the initiative, but Epps said 675 such offenders are already out on probation.

“House arrest is a stronger option,” he added.

Inmates on house arrest must wear monitoring devices at all times. Depending upon the sentence, inmates are required to be at home during certain times of the day, according to MDOC.

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith supports the proposal.

Clarion-Ledger 4/5/9