Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Cliff Johnson

Second Advisor

William Berry

Third Advisor

Charles E. Smith, Jr.

Relational Format



The purpose of this research is to examine the political, social, and economic factors which have led to inhumane conditions in Mississippi’s correctional facilities. Several methods were employed, including a comparison of the historical and current methods of funding, staffing, and rehabilitating prisoners based on literature reviews. State-sponsored reports from various departments and the legislature were analyzed to provide insight into budgetary restrictions and political will to allocate funds. Statistical surveys and data were reviewed to determine how overcrowding and understaffing negatively affect administrative capacity and prisoners’ mental and physical well-being. Ultimately, it may be concluded that Mississippi has high inmate populations which are disproportionate to that of staff. This conflicting reality is a result of improper funding by the Mississippi legislature, failure of legislators to prioritize the issue of correctional reform on the agenda, and general disinterest from the public. Several recommendations are made in the final chapter to address why the legislature should increase funding and how the funds should be used when obtained to improve the incarcerated population’s quality of life and prepare them for, if eligible, a smooth transition back into society.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.