JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has delivered a check totaling just over $30 million to the state treasury from litigation involving cases against Standard & Poor’s and Capital One Bank.
“The law requires that I make recommendations to the Legislature for improvement of public service,” Hood said. “There are several serious criminal and civil justice issues which I have advised lawmakers of and hope they will see fit to appropriate a small portion of these recoveries to address those issues.”
Among the Attorney General’s recommendation to lawmakers:
- Approximately $15 million for a new forensic unit to expand the ability of the State Hospital at Whitfield to house the criminally insane.
“Due to the shortage of beds, the department must move a person out in order to take another in,” said Attorney General Hood. “As a result, defendants in need of forensic evaluation languish in county jails. ”
- Approximately $2 million for dedicated supported housing and rental assistance for the mentally ill.
“I appreciate the action House members have already taken to pass House Bill 1563 which contains the requested amount of money. The bill is now in the Senate Appropriation Committee. This is a small amount to pay in order to facilitate proper, humane treatment of our mentally ill,” said Attorney General Hood. “It is a bargain compared to the costs we will incur if sued by the Department of Justice under the Olmstead case and the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
- $3 million on an inmate re-entry project
“The project would create 100 minimum security beds for felony inmates who have completed their sentences and are about to re-enter society,” said Attorney General Hood. “From this facility they would work during the day and receive drug, mental health, religious and life-skill counseling to prepare them for their release.”
The Attorney General’s Office has recovered more than $860 million in taxpayer dollars since Jim Hood took office in 2004.