The Clarion-Ledger, 3/3/9

One in 69 adult Mississippians are now behind bars, a new study shows.

That’s second in the nation, behind Louisiana with one in 55, according to the Pew Center on the States study released Monday. The study also shows that one in 38 adult Mississippians is either behind bars or under correctional supervision – almost triple the rate from 1982 when it was one in 105.

But Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said he believes recent changes in the law could help Mississippi fall to third place in the near future.

“We’re trying to reduce the numbers in prison and grow in community corrections,” he said. “It won’t hurt public safety one bit.”