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Anyone who has driven on I-55 has seen the bumper sticker that reads: “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way.” When it comes to Mississippi’s prisons, the same could be said of Governor Reeves.

It is no secret that the Mississippi Department of Corrections is in crisis. MDOC is being investigated by the Justice Department for civil rights violations. Multiple lawsuits have been filed because of the horrible conditions of the state’s prisons. And now, COVID-19 has reached the cell blocks. If allowed to fester, these problems will cost the state millions in litigation and trigger an expensive federal takeover of the prison system.

Modest prison reform legislation was approved by the legislature in June to address overcrowding, safety and sanitation issues. It would have allowed the Governor’s Parole Board to consider more candidates for parole. Of course, those who remain a threat to the public would be rejected. But by expanding the pool of people who could apply for parole, the state could reduce its prison population and costs. MDOC would have more funds to fix the prisons and avoid litigation. And it would encourage good behavior by inmates hoping one day to qualify for parole, thereby making prisons safer. Despite overwhelming, bipartisan approval, Governor Reeves vetoed Senate Bill 2123 after relying on extremely inaccurate information.

Fill out our form below, and it will guide you on how to send an email to members of the Senate to encourage them to override this veto. You can send a personalized one, or you can send along the one we’ve provided for you. It should less than a minute to complete.