Governor Bryant calls for change in public safety policy - - The News for South Mississippi

Governor Bryant calls for change in public safety policy

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Phil Bryant is asking for a restructuring of public safety policy. He hosted a summit on the topic at the Jackson Marriott Downtown Wednesday.

The room was filled with law enforcement officers, district attorneys and state leaders. Speakers say spending more on prisons doesn't equal more public safety.

"The taxpayers and the citizens that I talk to have no problem paying more taxes for more prison beds but we can't keep going like we're going or the whole thing's going to drag us down," said Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey.

The governor believes there are opportunities to make better use of taxpayer money. He proposes that sentencing and rehabilitation programs be looked at more closely for non-violent offenders.

Attorney General Jim Hood says it will take cooperation on many levels.

"You've got to use it all. You've got to use education, treatment, rehabilitation in incarceration," said Attorney General Jim Hood. "There's no silver bullet on crime but I think the political environment and economic environment is such that we have the greatest opportunity we've had in my 20 plus years in law enforcement to make great strides in our criminal justice system."

A state corrections and criminal justice task force was formed earlier this year. Governor Bryant plans to make public safety the focus of the next legislative session.

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