Both Republican Gov. Phil Bryant and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood said they believe that changes to the state’s criminal justice system need to be enacted during the 2014 session to control costs while ensuring the people who are truly dangerous to society get long prison sentences.
“This is not about being soft on crime,” Bryant said Wednesday at his Public Safety Works Summit attended by law enforcement from across the state at a Jackson hotel. “It is about how to better manage our assets while at the same time taking dangerous people off the street.”
Bryant has said that he wants the focus of the 2014 legislative session to be public safety. In doing that, the Republican governor said state officials must be mindful that the budget for the Department of Corrections has increased 133 percent during the last 20 years and at the current trend will grow from $361 million to more than $500 billion within the next decade.