Filed Date: 2020
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On February 5, 2020, the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division announced an investigation pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) into conditions in four Mississippi prisons: the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman), Southern Mississippi Correctional Institute, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, and the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. The Justice Department stated that it will investigate whether "the Mississippi Department of Corrections adequately protects prisoners from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners at the four prisons, as well as whether there is adequate suicide prevention, including adequate mental health care and appropriate use of isolation, at Parchman."
On April 20, 2022, DOJ announced the findings of the Parchman part of the investigation, issuing a 59-page report. DOJ found:
The report also criticized the state's response to a prisoner riot on Dec. 31, 2019. Parchman's staff, it said "was caught off guard, utterly overwhelmed, and ultimately unable to adequately and quickly respond to fighting and significant injuries in multiple buildings."
The DOJ report stated, that by statute "49 days after issuance of this letter, the Attorney General may initiate a lawsuit pursuant to CRIPA to correct deficiencies identified in this Findings Report if State officials have not satisfactorily addressed our concerns," and that "the Attorney General may also move to intervene in related private suits 15 days after issuance of this Report."
The matter is ongoing, and so is the DOJ's investigation of conditions at Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Samuel Poortenga (4/8/2021)
Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.
State / Territory: Mississippi
Filing Date: 2020
Case Ongoing: Yes
US Department of Justice, on behalf of prisoners in Mississippi Department of Corrections facilities.
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Special Case Type(s):
Prevailing Party: None Yet / None
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Type of Facility: