By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
Associated Press

prisonJACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The head of Mississippi’s prison system says the state needs to improve programs that help people get their lives on track as they leave prison.

Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher says even with a tight budget, it’s a smart financial decision to try to prevent people from committing more crimes and returning to custody.

Fisher told a legislative committee Monday that “re-entry courts” could help former inmates find social services, drug treatment or job training.

A 2014 state law was designed to make the criminal justice system more efficient, and it created the Mississippi Re-entry Council.

One of the council members, U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, told lawmakers Monday that people can be “fragile” as they leave prison. He says re-entry courts could provide an extra degree of supervision.

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