Thousands of convicted persons in Mississippi may soon become eligible for parole. In this past legislative session, the Mississippi House and Senate approved SB 2123, commonly known as the Mississippi Correctional Safety Rehabilitation Act of 2020. It’s now been given over to the governor for signature.
Under the bill, people convicted of nonviolent crimes would be eligible for parole after serving 25% of their sentence or after 10 years, whichever comes first.
For people convicted of violent crimes, parole eligibility would depend on when they were sentenced. If they were sentenced between July 1, 1995 and June 30, 2014, then they would be eligible for parole after completing 50% of their sentence or 20 years, which ever comes first. If they were sentenced after July 1, 2014, they would become eligible for parole after serving 50% of their sentence or 30 years, whichever is first.
The other interesting part of the bill concerns geriatric parole hearings, which means that if a person is 65 years or older and have served 10 years on their sentence, they be eligible for parole.
The thing to remember about SB 2123 is that it does not guarantee parole, but it does allow the opportunity for someone to apply to the parole board, unless they have been convicted of a crime that forbids parole (inmates sentenced for capital murder, habitual offenders, and sex offenders).