Miss. Sentencing, Prison Policies Up For Debate

Miss. Sentencing, Prison Policies Up For Debate

Mississippi judges and prosecutors are telling lawmakers they're tired of the uncertainty about how long people will stay in prison after sentencing.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi judges and prosecutors are telling lawmakers they're tired of the uncertainty about how long people will stay in prison after sentencing.

Many inmates can earn time off for good behavior in prison. That means, for example, that a 10-year sentence for a nonviolent crime could translate into fewer years locked up.

Yet, some policymakers say stiffer sentences might stretch state resources even further.

The state prison population and the Department of Corrections budget have both increased dramatically over the past 15 years, and Mississippi has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation.

A group of lawmakers, judges and prosecutors met Tuesday at the Capitol to discuss prison policies and sentencing practices. The task force could recommend changes for lawmakers to consider during the 2014 session.

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