NATIONAL NEWS

Justice Department finds problems with violence, gangs and poor conditions in 3 Mississippi prisons

Feb 28, 2024, 8:56 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi failed to protect inmates in three prisons from violence because it does not adequately supervise incarcerated people, control contraband or investigate harm and misconduct, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday.

“These basic safety failures and the poor living conditions inside the facilities promote violence, including sexual assault,” the department said in a report. “Gangs operate in the void left by staff and use violence to control people and traffic contraband.”

The report covered conditions in Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, South Mississippi Correctional Institution and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

“People do not surrender their constitutional rights at the jailhouse door,” Kristen Clarke, the department’s assistant attorney general for civil rights, said during a news conference Wednesday.

The report says the conditions in those three prisons are similar to problems that the department reported in 2022 at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

The new report says “appalling conditions” in restrictive housing practices at the Central Mississippi and Wilkinson prisons cause “substantial risk of serious harm.”

“Restrictive housing units are unsanitary, hazardous, and chaotic, with little supervision,” the Justice Department said. “They are breeding grounds for suicide, self-inflicted injury, fires, and assaults.”

The department said the Mississippi Department of Corrections does not have enough staff to supervise the prison population.

“The mismatch between the size of the incarcerated population and the number of security staff means that gangs dominate much of prison life, and contraband and violence, including sexual violence, proliferate,” the Justice Department said. “Prison officials rely on ineffective and overly harsh restrictive housing practices for control.”

National News

FILE - A woman fills out a pledge card for the U.S. Census in exchange for a reusable boba tea cart...

Associated Press

Noncitizens are less likely to participate in a census with citizenship question, study says

Adding a citizenship question to the census reduces the participation of people who aren’t U.S. citizens, particularly those from Latin American countries, according to a new research paper that comes as Republicans in Congress are pushing to add such a question to the census form. Noncitizens who pay taxes but are ineligible to have a […]

2 hours ago

FILE - State Election Board member Rick Jeffares asks the crowd to settle down during a hastily pla...

Associated Press

Trump-friendly panel shapes Georgia’s election rules at long, often chaotic meetings

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia State Election Board, which once toiled in relative obscurity, now hosts raucous meetings where public comment spans several hours and attendees regularly heckle its members. The shift highlights how election administration has become increasingly scrutinized and politicized, particularly in Georgia and other states that President Joe Biden flipped for Democrats […]

2 hours ago

FILE - This June 13, 2016 photo shows Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Florida. Thousands ...

Associated Press

Takeaways from AP’s investigation into DEA corruption, agent accused of rape

MIAMI (AP) — Thousands of secret law enforcement documents obtained by The Associated Press offer a never-before-seen window into a culture of corruption among U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who parlayed the agency’s shadowy money laundering operations into a worldwide pursuit of binge drinking and illicit sex. Among the documents is a recovered WhatsApp chat, […]

3 hours ago

FILE - Reggie Daniels pays his respects a memorial at Robb Elementary School, June 9, 2022, in Uval...

Associated Press

Uvalde school officer charged over actions during Robb Elementary shooting set to appear in court

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — A former Uvalde school police officer who was part of the slow law enforcement response to the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is scheduled to appear in court for the first time Thursday. Adrian Gonzales was one of the nearly 400 law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene […]

3 hours ago

This October 2014 photo obtained by The Associated Press shows then-U.S. Drug Enforcement Administr...

Associated Press

Secret DEA files show agents joked about rape in WhatsApp chat. Then one of them was accused of it.

MIAMI (AP) — In a WhatsApp chat that quickly devolved into depravity, a group of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents boasted about their “world debauchery tour” of “boozing and whoring” on the government’s dime. They swapped lurid images of their latest sexual conquests. And at one point they even joked about “forcible anal rape.” Within […]

3 hours ago

Joe Ridenour sits for a portrait on the steps of the recreational vehicle he once called home in Ca...

Associated Press

Church sues Colorado town to be able to shelter homeless in trailers, work ‘mandated by God’

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — Behind a church surrounded by rolling prairie on the outskirts of this Colorado town sits a donated RV that Joe Ridenour called home for a year after he lost his job during the pandemic. Being able to live in the RV, he said, allowed him to avoid returning to his […]

3 hours ago

Justice Department finds problems with violence, gangs and poor conditions in 3 Mississippi prisons