CHARLIE MITCHELL: Mississippi is No. 1 in declining prison population

Mississippi’s inmate population has dropped by 3,000 people over the past several months — by far the fastest decline of any state. The rationale, though, is that prisons cost too much money.

It is a remarkable and largely unheralded change. Long the leader in incarceration — or neck and neck with Louisiana — the number of people in state custody has fallen from 21,743 in January 2014 to 18,939 last week…

…Bryant was adamant about violent offenders. No break for them. But for those who really haven’t hurt anyone but themselves, there are lesser maximum sentences and earlier opportunities for release.

The community-based aspect includes wider use of drug courts, which require that people who admit their crimes and admit their addictions undergo monitored treatment with the looming threat of being locked up. It also involves alternatives such as house arrest.

Sunherald
10/13/15