The Mississippi Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force was created in 2013 to study the state’s sentencing and corrections systems and develop policies that improve public safety, ensure clarity in sentencing and control corrections costs. In December 2013, the task force submitted recommendations to the Legislature that would reform sentencing laws, expand judicial discretion, strengthen community supervision and establish performance measures. These recommendations were adopted by the legislature in 2014 and are projected to avert more than $250 million in spending over the next 10 years. The law expanded eligibly for incarceration alternatives, increased felony theft thresholds, modified drug penalties, clarified time-served requirements, and improved reentry and community supervision. An oversight task force, created by the law, will monitor implementation and outcomes.
Establishes the Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force to review the state's corrections and criminal justice system to study all areas of the state's corrections system, disparities in sentencing, drug court programs and other alternative incarceration programs. Requires the task force to make recommendations by Dec. 31, 2013.
Expands eligibility for pretrial intervention, non-adjudicated probation, drug court, probation and intensive supervision. Modifies or increases felony theft threshold amounts and creates degrees of penalties based on property value. Creates a one-year presumptive probation for most property crimes under $1,000. Modifies penalties for controlled substances, creates degrees of penalties based on drug weight and refines drug trafficking. Creates a uniform definition of violent crime and requires inmates to serve at least 50 percent of the prison term. Makes all nonviolent offenses parole eligible after serving 25 percent of the sentence. Permits the release of certain inmates without a parole hearing. Requires a prison case plan and discharge plan based on risk assessment results for all parole eligible inmates. Requires risk and needs assessments be used to guide supervision responses for all offenders in the community. Authorizes the use of graduated sanctions for rule violations of probation, parole or post-release supervision. Establishes technical violation centers probation and parole violators who have their supervision revoked. Creates earned discharge credits for compliant offenders on probation and parole to reduce the period of supervision. Requires, upon request of a legislator, a fiscal note for legislation creating a new criminal offense or amending existing sentencing laws. Requires a uniform certification process for all drug courts and problem solving courts and creates minimum standards. Authorizes establishment of veterans’ treatment court programs. Establishes the Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force to track and assess outcomes related to this law.
Full summaries of legislation can be found in NCSL’s Sentencing and Corrections Enactment Database.
Return to NCSL’s Justice Reinvestment State Resources page or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice program.