Delta lawmakers present plan to address Parchman issues

Several Delta legislators have come together and have presented a multi-step plan to address issues at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Senator Sarita Simmons, Representative Otis Anthony, Representative Tracey Rosebud and Representative Abe Hudson announced in a press release this week that they “have spent many hours working with others to stabilize and improve conditions at Parchman.”

“Our first act was to visit Parchman and meet with Warden Marshall and his staff to conduct an assessment of the safety of the staff, offenders and surrounding communities. This visit gave us first hand knowledge and a close up look at the inhumanity living conditions at Parchman especially at Unit 29. It is noted that we agree and applaud Governor (Tate) Reeves’ decision to close Unit 29,” the release said.

Immediately after Governor Reeves announced the closure of Unit 29, the group met with him to garner support for the following measures:

1. Close Unit 29 but keep Parchman

open.

2. Reassign the employees at Unit 29 to

other units at Parchman so that there

will be no job loss.

3. Repurpose Parchman’s mission by

increasing the number of maximum

unit cells, training and re-entry

programs and enhancing medical

services at the Parchman hospital to

provide medical services for.

offenders.

4. Increase staff salaries and implement

a preferential salary scales for

employees who work at the maximum

security units at Parchman.

5. Create a staff recruiting program that

focuses on hiring more male security

staff.

6. Assess and evaluate the offender’s

Classification system to ensure that

offenders are assigned properly.

7. Assign more offenders to Regional

jails and increase the offenders per-

diem.

8. Reimplement the highway

beautification program that will assign

offenders to jails for the purpose of

picking up trash on the highways.

“We were very pleased with our meeting with Governor Reeves who committed to working with us to keep Parchman open, and keep employees at Parchman by reassigning them to other units at Parchman,” the release said.

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