JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that will require Mississippi officials to study sentencing disparities and juvenile detention, lower some criminal penalties and mandate that courts can’t imprison people for failing to pay fines they can’t afford.
House Bill 387 , which becomes law July 1, continues an effort to reduce people jailed or imprisoned in Mississippi.
The measure mandates that judges must consider whether someone can afford a court-mandated payment, gives judges the power to reduce fines, and credits someone jailed for nonpayment of a fine at $100 a day, not $25.
The measure also requires a task force to examine criminal sentences for racial and other disparities, and requires a study of detained juveniles.
The law also lets judges impose lesser sentences on some third-time felons.