The prisoner escaped from the Hilltop Honor Farm, a housing unit for about 70 non-violent male offenders classified as trustys.
"We have warrants issued now for Cedric Smith and he is listed on the National Crime Information Center's computers," said Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie. "Wherever he's located in the United States, he'll be brought back here and will face additional charges of escape."
Smith had been serving five years of a 15-year sentence for the possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. Sollie said he was aided in his escape by another inmate.
Authorities said inmate James Suttles held the gate as Cedric Smith crawled under.
"James Suttles did not leave the premises but he did aid Cedric Smith. Our investigation indicates that he has been planning or contemplating this escape for some time," Sollie said.
Sheriff Sollie said Smith was reprimanded for recent unauthorized contact with a girlfriend.
"He was brought into the office yesterday and was reprimanded for that infraction of our rules," said the sheriff. "This occurred last week. We identified it, reprimanded him yesterday and then he escaped last night."
Authorities say Smith was picked up by an unknown person or persons, a short distance from the Hilltop Honor Farm.
"We have no indication that he is a violent offender. However, he is on the run. We strongly encourage anyone who knows him, knows his whereabouts, to contact us," said Sollie.
The Crimestoppers number is (601) 917-8888.