JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, Governor Tate Reeves signed a criminal justice reform bill expanding parole eligibility. Many are calling it the first step for Mississippi when it come to criminal justice reform and ending mass incarceration.
Governor Tate Reeves said it was hard for him to sign the bill, but he believes in second chances.
For the last 30 years, Mississippi’s Remarkable Woman Pauline Rodgers has worked to changed the lives of the incarcerated with the R.E.C.H. foundation. In three decades, no one that R.E.C.H. has transitioned has gone back to prison.
“I’m hoping that the governor will pay attention to that and don’t think that we always have to look outside of Mississippi and our state to get help that we have here,” said Rodgers.
She has spent years behind bars. Afterwards, Rodgers spent years advocating for the incarcerated and the children they leave behind.
“We have access to hundreds of people who have been impacted by this criminal justice system in this mass incarceration epidemic. We can show you the proof that these people have been very successful both non-violent and violent,” Rodgers explained.
She hopes the governor doesn’t stop his pen with nonviolent offenders and listen to people like her because she wants what he wants; safer communities and more opportunities for people to succeed.
Senate Bill 2795 will take effect beginning July 1, 2021.