Getting it Right for Mississippi Families and Employers:
MCPP Proud to Support Criminal Justice Reform Law
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy (MCPP) is putting families first by encouraging efforts to get young men and fathers back to work. Last year, we made tremendous strides toward this goal by passing gold-standard welfare-to-work reforms. Mississippi’s progress in this area, in part, inspired President Trump to issue an executive order yesterday promoting welfare-to-work standards for federal entitlement programs.
We are also working to strengthen and reunify families by supporting criminal justice reforms that help ex-offenders obtain and keep jobs. One such package of reforms, HB 387, was signed into law today by Gov. Phil Bryant.
Dr. Jameson Taylor attends bill signing of HB 387
HB 387 builds on the successful model of criminal justice reform passed in 2014 by the Mississippi legislature. Owing to these reforms, according to analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Mississippi has benefitted from:
- A more than 10 percent decline in our prison population.
- A renewed focus on violent offenders, who now occupy 63 percent of prison beds, as opposed to 56 percent previously.
- A 5 percent decline in the property crime rate, along with a historically low violent crime rate.
HB 387 reduces red tape that sometimes prevents former inmates from getting and keeping jobs. For example, the law requires parole officers to accommodate parolees’ work schedules. HB 387 also requires a one-time census of county jails so lawmakers can better understand how to deal with this population.
HB 387 was sponsored by Rep. Andy Gipson (now Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce), assisted by Rep. Joel Bomgar and others. The legislation was also supported by a broad coalition of organizations (see letters below), such as Right on Crime, Prison Fellowship, and the Mississippi Faith Advisory Council. In particular, Americans for Prosperity played an important role in supporting HB 387. MCPP was happy to help with their efforts. Please join us in celebrating this victory and applauding Gov. Phil Bryant for supporting smart and effective criminal justice reform.
Coalition letter supporting criminal justice reforms
(Click to read full letter)