Miss. lawmakers to take on prison growth

Unless changes are made, Mississippi’s prison budget, which already is more than $335 million per year, is expected to grow in the next decade an additional $266 million.

And the state, which already has the second highest incarceration rate in the country at 688 people per 100,000, according to 2010 figures, will lock up an additional 2,000 people.

Mississippi currently houses 22,600 people in prison, an increase of 124 percent in the last 20 years and 17 percent in last decade.

Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders have pledged to deal with the criminal justice system in general and the high incarceration rate in particular during the 2014 session, which begins Tuesday.

Bobby Harrison
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal