SUNFLOWER COUNTY, Miss. — Mississippi’s new governor, Tate Reeves, announced he’s searching for a new Department of Corrections prison director after weeks of violent outbursts that left at least five inmates dead.
Congressman Bennie Thompson sent two letters detailing the conditions — specifically at Parchman penitentiary — to Fourth Circuit Court District Attorney Dewayne Richardson.
In one letter, he details a June inspection stating several of the cells at Parchman had no power, pillows, or mattresses. The report also shows black mold was found in one shower cell while another shower was used to store milk cartons.
“Mississippi has acknowledged the horrific conditions at Parchman for years but has failed to take any action,” Thompson wrote.
The family of one inmate agrees.
“This is bad. There is something that needs to be done about this,” said Angel Taylor, a family member of a Parchman inmate.
He says understaffing is to blame.
In a statement, commissioner Pelicia Hall, who’s resigned and is leaving the department this month, says the agency is experiencing “critical understaffing” and “needs at least 1,000 more officers.”
Thompson says he hopes the complaints will warrant a grand jury investigation.
Below: A letter from Congressman Bennie Thompson with photos detailing conditions at Parchman prison. Click here if you can’t see.