|Numbers Rise For Habitual Offenders|
More repeat offenders are being sent to prison to serve the maximum time, based on prosecutors' use of the habitual offender statute.
Since January 2007, the number of incarcerated habitual offenders has increased from 1,167 to the current 1,835, based on data from the Mississippi Department of Corrections. This includes an additional 235 since January.
Without the habitual offender statute, prosecutors risk seeing criminals released early because of parole, earned release supervision or crowding, said Kassie Coleman, president of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association and assistant district attorney in Forrest County.
"You're seeing more prosecutors charging and processing criminals with the habitual statute because they know that person is going to serve all of that time," Coleman said. "It takes the control away for everyone else so that a judge or MDOC cannot turn that person loose. There's no guessing."
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