Senate Bill 2795 ("Mississippi Earned Parole Eligibility Act") would allow for parole to be granted to eligible individuals who have served a portion of their sentence for a non-violent crime. This is a significant step in Mississippi's criminal justice reform efforts.
This bill, if enacted as law, would increase parole opportunities for returning citizens who have completed a portion of their sentence for non-violent crimes. Many adults are released from correctional facilities in Mississippi without the skills and/or accredited credentials that may be required to secure gainful employment. This change would also expand job training programs in prison, a major factor in reducing recidivism in Mississippi communities.
At Paroled2Pride, we do our best to bridge the gaps between incarceration and employment with our life skills and job training programs. Some of our participants did not receive any form of career-based education during their sentence and were still expected to become productive citizens after release. Senate Bill 2795 could provide opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skillsets needed to progress in the workforce during the reentry journey.
The final step for SB 2795 lies in the House for a vote. Although Governor Tate Reeves vetoed two criminal justice reform bills in 2020 which would have provided parole for thousands of Mississippians and helped them reenter society through career training programs like Paroled2Pride, the urgent need for progress in Mississippi's criminal justice system could influence his approval. If SB 2795 passes the House, and the governor signs off, it could become an active law by July 1st.
Sources: WLBT NEWS