Mississippi is facing a federal lawsuit over prison conditions and last week the Department of Justice said it started investigations at three prisons.
The Associated Press: Mississippi Inmate Death Toll Rises Amid Emergency Extension
Another Mississippi inmate died Monday, the same day the governor extended an emergency order allowing the state to quickly spend money to try to resolve problems in a prison system beset by violence and poor living conditions. The two developments were announced separately, and there was no indication that Gov. Tate Reeves’ extension of the emergency order was in response to the latest death. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Mississippi prisons after a string of inmate deaths. The death Monday brings the total to at least 16 since late December. (Pettus, 2/10)
The Hill: Mississippi Records 16th Inmate Death
James Allen Brown, 54, died at the hospital at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, the Mississippi Department of Corrections confirmed in a release. He is the 10th to die at Parchman since the end of December. There was no foul play suspected in the first death in more than a week, according to the Sunflower County coroner. “The official cause and the manner are pending an autopsy,” the release said. Brown was in prison for murder/homicide and residential burglary. He was sentenced in June of 1993. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) addressed the state’s ongoing problem in his State of the State speech, in which he promised to shut down Parchman’s Unit 29, where a majority of deaths in the prison have occurred. (Coleman, 2/10)
CNN: A Terminally Ill Inmate Died At Mississippi’s Parchman Prison. He’s The 10th To Die There In 6 Weeks
A Mississippi inmate serving a life sentence for murder died Monday, officials said. “The offender was in the inpatient department and had been receiving treatment for a terminal illness,” according to a news release from the Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton. No foul play is suspected, Burton said. The cause of death is pending. The inmate is the 10th to die in the past six weeks who was serving time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. At least three of the previous inmate deaths were attributed to violence, according to a tweet from the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Last week, the Justice Department announced it was launching an investigation into several of the state’s prisons after the deaths and inmate descriptions of conditions behind prison walls. (Maxouris and Moshtaghian, 2/11)
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