Lawmakers seeking ways to improve Mississippi jails

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Lawmakers are seeking ways to improve a prison system shaken by recent deadly violence and a related problem is looming.

A judge said Tuesday that parole officers are ‘woefully underpaid and overworked.’

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Circuit Judge Prentiss Harrell said the officers often handle hundreds of cases each. That has contributed to an increase in the prison population because a growing number of ex-inmates are being returned to prison for parole violations.

Mississippi remains one of the nation’s poorest states with one of the highest incarceration rates.

At least 15 inmates have died in its prison system since late December. Most were in the state penitentiary at Parchman.