U.S. Dept. of Justice to investigate Mississippi’s prison systems

U.S. Dept. of Justice to investigate Mississippi’s prison systems
(Source: Photo WLOX)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The United States Department of Justice opened an investigation into conditions at Mississippi’s prisons.

The announcement was made Wednesday. The investigation will focus on Mississippi State Penitentiary, Southern Mississippi Correctional Institute, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

The DOJ will focus on whether Mississippi Department of Corrections protects its prisoners from physical harm at the hands of other prisons. They'll also focus on whether there is adequate suicide prevention, including mental health care and appropriate use of isolation at Parchman.

Attorney General Lynn Fitch issued the following statement:

“Since taking office on January 9th, I have been made aware of the conditions with the Mississippi Department of Corrections and my office immediately took a proactive position to meet and address these challenges. I visited Parchman personally and my staff and I have had conversations with the Department of Justice and others about next steps. I will work closely with the U.S. Department of Justice in their investigation and I am committed to ensuring safety and justice for all parties.”
AG Lynn Fitch

Prison issues have been the focus of Mississippians for several months. There have been more than a dozen deaths inside Mississippi prisons in 2020.

Former inmates say the issues at Parchman are nothing new. Upon taking office, Governor Tate Reeves installed a plan for improving prisons, which includes a task force tabbed for finding a new commissioner.

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