Gov. Bryant commends the Mississippi House for adopting House Bill 585, an omnibus bill that includes the governor's criminal justice reform priorities. The bill passed the House 105-7 on Monday.
Gov. Bryant announced his comprehensive reform priorities in December 2013; the reforms were developed as the result of a bipartisan task force effort that included consultation with the Public Safety Performance Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
"We know that Mississippi must make changes to its criminal justice system if we are to ensure that we are tough on crime while also being smart with taxpayer dollars," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "These policies put the victim first while curbing escalating criminal justice costs."
The bill also included an amendment to establish a separate veterans treatment court system. This court system would function similarly to the state's existing drug court system, which provides treatment and sentencing options for certain drug offenders.
"These veterans treatment courts will provide a valuable service to the men and women who have served this country and want to get back on track," Gov. Bryant said. "They, more than most, deserve this second chance, and I thank Rep. Andy Gipson for including the amendment to establish these courts."
House Bill 585 now moves to the Senate for action. The Senate corrections committee has also passed a similar omnibus bill, Senate Bill 2784.