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Parchman penitentiary violated U.S. Constitution by mistreating inmates, DOJ finds

The Department of Justice has released a report that shows Mississippi State Penitentiary – otherwise known as Parchman penitentiary – violated the United States Constitution by mistreating inmates and forcing them to live in unsuitable conditions.

“Our investigation uncovered evidence of systemic violations that have generated a violent and unsafe environment for people incarcerated at Parchman,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke in a media release. “We are committed to taking action that will ensure the safety of all people held at Parchman and other state prison facilities. We look forward to working with state officials to institute comprehensive reforms.”

The report outlined how insufficient staffing and inadequate enforcement and investigation of prison rule violations led to an “unreasonable risk of violence” for its prisoners.

The prison has been under fire previously for similar reasons, including a 2020 lawsuit filed by 152 inmates accusing the facility of unsafe and unsanitary living conditions and violation of their rights.

The 59-page DOJ report outlined how poor living conditions led to a prison riot in 2019 after multiple inmates committed suicide or were murdered. Over 100 assaults were reported by the DOJ from 2018 to May 2020, and the report says the lack of mental health care in the penitentiary led to a failure to identify inmates who may be a threat to others.

The Department of Justice requires the Mississippi Department of Corrections to rectify the issues outlined in the report at Parchman. If the MDOC fails to comply with the requirements, the US Attorney General may file a lawsuit against the prison and the Department of Corrections. The investigation spanned two years and concluded the prison violated the eighth and fifteenth amendments.

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL.COM

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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