Miss. Senate OKs version of criminal justice bill

The Mississippi Senate on Thursday advanced a bill that supporters say is designed to make the criminal justice system more efficient and less expensive.

House Bill 585 is a centerpiece of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s legislative agenda for 2014.

Only three senators voted against the latest version of the bill. Because the Senate made some changes, the bill returns to the House for more work in the next few weeks.

Mississippi has the second-highest incarceration rate in the nation. Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, said the proposed changes could reduce prison costs by $266 million, spread over 10 years.

Clarion Ledger