U.S. NEWS

Another Inmate Dies In Mississippi Prison After DOJ Opens Civil Rights Investigation

Following a spate of deaths at Mississippi State Penitentiary, the Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation. Now, another death has been added to the list.

Another inmate has died at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, marking at least the 10th inmate death in the last six weeks. 

The inmate has been identified as 54-year-old James Allen Brown, according to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. Brown was serving a life sentence for murder and  25 years for residential burglary. Sunflower County Medical Examiner Heather Burton said in a news release that Brown’s death was not the result of foul play.

“The offender was in the inpatient department and had been receiving treatment for a terminal illness,” Burton said. 

On Feb. 5, the Justice Department announced it opened a civil rights investigation into four Mississippi prisons, including Parchman, amid public outcry over conditions at those facilities following a spate of inmate deaths. The department said it will also investigate Southern Mississippi Correctional Institute, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

View through prison bars of dormitory bunks at Mississippi State Penitentiary (or Parchman Farm), Mississippi, 1964. Since it
View through prison bars of dormitory bunks at Mississippi State Penitentiary (or Parchman Farm), Mississippi, 1964. Since its opening in 1901, the prison has been notorious for the conditions to which it subjects its inmates. 

“The investigation will focus on whether the Mississippi Department of Corrections adequately protects prisoners from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners at the four prisons,” the DOJ said in a press release. 

The department will also investigate “whether there is adequate suicide prevention, including adequate mental health care and appropriate use of isolation, at Parchman.”

Monday’s death at Parchman came on the same day Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) extended an emergency order allowing the state to invest more money in its prison system.

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