MS. Lawmakers Debate State Prison System
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi lawmakers say they want to reduce the number of former inmates who return to prison after serving time.
But, one state representative says ex-felons could have trouble finding jobs because of workers’ compensation insurance policies that companies carry.
Democratic Rep. Willie Bailey of Greenville, who’s an attorney, says many workers’ comp policies ban employers from hiring former prisoners. He says if some ex-inmates can’t find work, they might turn back to crime just to put food on the table.
Bailey mentioned the problem Wednesday as House committees met to examine proposals from a criminal justice task force. Judges, prosecutors and elected officials are asking for new state laws aimed at ensuring more uniformity in sentencing.
Lawmakers are also trying to make Mississippi’s prison system more efficient and less expensive.