Mississippi State Penitentiary

Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman is among four prisons in the nation being researched by the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Mississippi Department of Corrections/Reuters

  • After a series of deaths and prison riots, the Justice Department announced Wednesday that it might explore a number of Mississippi’s most infamous correctional facilities.
  • The Mississippi state government’s own health division has proven that offenders live with roaches and overflowing sewage.
  • Jay-Z’s philanthropic organization Roc Nation, both the ACLU and SPLC have filed suits on behalf of inmates for its centers”inhumane” dwelling conditions.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage to get more tales.

Walking ankle-deep in open sewer, sleeping mice and rats both dead and living, and living in dread of prison violence which has left 15 folks dead, offenders at Mississippi state correctional centers have known to the prisons as”death traps,” CNN reported.

Since the death toll climbs at the nation’s correctional facilities because of suicide and violence, the Justice Department’s civil rights division announced it would step in to investigate the terms in state prisons on Wednesday, including the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

The federal division will analyze if the Mississippi Department of Corrections satisfactorily protects offenders from bodily injury and if there’s sufficient suicide prevention in the Parchman prison, Southern Mississippi Correctional Institute, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, along with the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility based on some statement from the Justice Department.

The Mississippi state prison system, that has among the country’s highest incarceration rates, has experienced recurring problems with violence for several years. Low pay and long hours have made it tough to seek the services of prison guards, leaving lots of the correctional facilities understaffed and unequipped to deal with the brutality inside the prison walls. 

While lockdowns in other correctional facilities were raised a month, Parchman is still plagued by violence — two were recently killed by blunt force trauma, as stated by the division of corrections.

In total, at least 15 individuals have died across the Mississippi state prison system since December 29.

Beyond the violence, prisons also have been accused of forcing inmates to reside in”inhumane conditions.” 

Images inside the Parchman correctional facility from your state health division along with the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting series holes behind bathrooms and water fountains, roaches and trash from plumbing, and exposed sewage overflowing into jail cells and baths.

The Justice Department’s decision to investigate the Mississippi prisons comes following clamorous calls for shift in the correctional facilities from actors and advocates alike in reaction to outbreaks of violence left at least 15 dead since December.

Mississippi Prisons

Pictures from the Mississippi Health Department reveal show holes behind bathrooms and water fountains, roaches and crap from pursuit pipes, and open sewer overflowing prison cells along with baths.

Courtesy of Mississippi Health Department

The violence and living conditions from the Mississippi state prison system have prompted many lawsuits on behalf of prisoners, alleging the states violate prisoners’ civil rights and mentioning the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Rappers Jay-Z along with the rapper Yo Gotti filed a lawsuit against Mississippi Department of Corrections officials on behalf of Mississippi offenders in January, drawing national attention to the states at the nation’s prison facilities. In the suit, lawyers contended that the offenders’ are”plagued with violence” and subject to decrepit living states. 

“Plaintiffs’ lives are in peril,” the  January lawsuit said, blaming inmates’ passing on”Mississippi’s utter disregard for the individuals it’s incarcerated and their inherent rights.”

jay z

Jay-Z has directed a legal struggle against the prisons.


Lisa Graybill, the deputy legal director of Southern Poverty Law Center, said the national government’s participation is very long overdue.

“Mississippi’s prisons have a barbarous history rooted in captivity and convict leasing, and now is the time for the national authorities to step in and do exactly what the Mississippi Department of Corrections has failed toend the violence and ensure humane living conditions,” Graybill said in an announcement .  

Mississipi Governor Tate Reeves openly called the situation a”tragedy” and asked the Mississippi Department of Investigations to investigate the Parchman conditions. Even though the Mississippi Department of Corrections didn’t announce how long that an investigation would require, interim commissioner Tommy Taylor declared it had been working with the Senate to enhance conditions in the meantime. 

Neither the Mississippi Department of Corrections nor Gov. Tate Reeves promptly reacted to Insider’s requests for comment.