Gov. Reeves signs bill expanding Mississippi inmates’ work release

Published 7:44 am Tuesday, April 12, 2022

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi will expand a work release program for nonviolent inmates from one county to three counties.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed House Bill 586 on Friday, and it will become law on July 1.

“Dignified work has the potential to offer new beginnings,” Reeves said Monday in a statement announcing his signing.

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The Rankin County sheriff was already authorized to let inmates work outside the county jail during the final year of their sentences. The new law says the sheriffs in Harrison County and Lee County also can create a program.

Each sheriff can choose up to 25 inmates to participate, and inmates choose whether to do so.

While working outside the jail, each inmate can earn money and must have a bank account. They can use some of the money for “incidental expenses.”

Up to 25% of what they earn can help pay fines, restitution, fees or support dependents. They may keep using the accounts and any remaining money after being released.