JACKSON, MISS. – Moving some inmates from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman to nearby Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler is among the steps the Mississippi Department of Corrections is taking to maintain order in the wake of the recent unrest in the state prison system.
The department has contracted with CoreCivic Inc. to immediately house up to 375 maximum security inmates initially for 90 days.
“The Tutwiler facility was chosen because it is the only location that can immediately take on this population,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “The facility is already operational and sufficiently staffed to manage close custody inmates. The department acted swiftly because of the violence at MSP and a lack of manpower to restore and maintain order. We also cannot staff any other facility.”
Unit 29, where the inmates were initially housed, has a failing infrastructure at Parchman, which has the capacity for 3,560 inmates. Cleaning continues there from the recent acts of vandalism. The unit has been plagued with vandalism over the years and needs major repair and renovation.
While Unit 32, a maximum security unit, is structurally sound and not condemned, it has been a temporary housing location to separate rival security threat groups, or rival gang members, from further acts of violence.
During the entire process, the inmates’ needs have been met. They have received food, bottled water, and necessary medical attention. Additionally, the Tutwiler facility was inspected Wednesday by the State Department of Health and approved.