The success sequence of getting a good education and finding a good job is unrivaled in keeping people out of trouble. Unfortunately, Mississippi has the second highest incarceration rate in the country, due in part, to a complex web of criminal laws that include relatively minor offenses. Criminal laws should be designed to protect the public from direct harm to person and property. Sentences associated with criminal laws should be tailored to fit the crime.
Our Constitution guarantees people a series of rights designed to protect them from having their freedom or property unjustly taken. The rule of law is essential to our system of justice. Laws must be clear, fair and applied equally for people to maintain trust in our judicial and the broader government.
People make mistakes, but most people should not be forever defined by those mistakes. Since 95 percent of people sitting in prison will eventually be released, providing a pathway to rehabilitation and re-entry is smart. Every person that can make the most of a second chance represents the potential of reconciled families, safer communities, and a lower tax burden.