Recently, a statewide task force set about determining ways to save taxpayer money in the realm of incarceration. A study was produced by consultants towards that end. With findings and ideas in hand, state legislators headed to a conference of judges to explain the new laws meant to achieve their goals.
They had found that there were a large number of non-violent, low-level offenders, costing great amounts of money, that could be more cheaply, and arguably more effectively, handled out in the community through measures like probation as well as other similar methods.
Many are pleased to see new laws that not only lower costs of managing criminal offenders, but also are seemingly more focused on helping those offenders rejoin society as productive members rather than simply seeking to punish them for their offenses.
As part of the new changes, the way in which DUI convictions are handled has received modification as well. First time violations will now offer a choice to the convicted between the typical suspension of their license or use of an interlock device. This choice will allow offenders who have jobs that require they provide their own transportation to keep their jobs as opposed to losing them due to an inability to legally drive their vehicles.
The week long conference is part of the 12-hour training judges are required to take part in every year in Mississippi.