Mississippi Department of Corrections

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The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is a state agency of Mississippi that operates prisons. It has its headquarters in Jackson.[1]

History[edit]

"The Walls" was Mississippi's first prison

In 1843 a penitentiary in four city squares in central Jackson became Mississippi's first state prison;[2][3] it is located where the Capitol of Mississippi currently resides. As a result of the U.S. Civil War, the Jackson prison was destroyed, and the state had no prison.[3] Prisoners were leased to third parties, which held custody of the inmates. After December 31, 1894, prisoners sentenced by the State of Mississippi could no longer be hired or leased by third parties. After the convict leasing system ended, the State of Mississippi began to acquire property to build its own correctional facilities. The state bought the Rankin Farm in Rankin County, 12 miles (19 km) away from Jackson, in 1895. Afterwards the state purchased the Oakley Farm, located in Hinds County, 25 miles (40 km) from Jackson.[2] The state government purchased land in Sunflower County in January 1901, leading to the establishment of the Parchman Farm (now Mississippi State Penitentiary).[4]

The Department of Corrections opened in 1976 to oversee the existing Mississippi state prisons.[5]

By 2011 MDOC operated below capacity due to methods used to reduce the prison population, such as increased use of house arrest and conditional medical release. As of 2011 the state prisons are over 2,000 spaces below capacity. With private prisons included, that is about 4,000 beds below capacity.[6]

Divisions[edit]

Operations[edit]

Before going to their assigned facilities and after their transfer from county jails, most prison inmates are sent to the Reception & Classification Center (R&C) in the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) to be classified according to behavior level and assessed for treatment. The classification process takes around 30 days.[11]

Most male inmates who are sentenced to MDOC by the courts or who are returned to MDOC as parole violators, probation violators, intensive supervision program (ISP) (house arrest) violators, earned release supervision (ERS) violators, and suspension violators are placed at R&C. All women inmates who are sentenced to MDOC by the courts or who are returned to MDOC as parole violators, probation violators, ISP violators, ERS violators, and suspension violators are placed in 1A or 2B at CMCF.[12] Male death row inmates transferred from county jails immediately go to the Mississippi State Penitentiary, the location of the male death row.[13]

Each prisoner receives a security classification. The classifications are:[9]

  • Minimum (Community)
  • Minimum (Non-Community)
  • Medium
  • Close
  • Death Row

Health care[edit]

MDOC contracts with Wexford Health Sources, Inc.,[14] headquartered in Green Tree, Pennsylvania,[15][16] near Pittsburgh. Wexford provides medical services to inmates at state-operated facilities. Each privately operated facility has its own contracted medical services provider.[14]

Wexford was awarded the $95 million MDOC contract in 2006.[17] Previously MDOC contracted with Correctional Medical Services (CMS),[18] headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri,[19][20] near St. Louis.[18] CMS's contract was scheduled to begin on July 1, 2003.[21]

Intensive Supervision Program[edit]

MDOC's Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) is the authority's house arrest program.[22]

Death row[edit]

MDOC performs executions at the Mississippi State Penitentiary.[23] Male death row offenders are housed in the Mississippi State Penitentiary, while female death row offenders are housed in the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.[24]

Conjugal and family visits[edit]

According to the decision of Chris Epps, the MDOC commissioner, the entire Mississippi state prison system ended conjugal visits in February 2014. Chris Epps, the commissioner, argued that the possibility of creating single parents and the expenses were the reasons why conjugal visits ended.[25]

As of September 27, 2012 MDOC ended family visitation for married prisoners and their immediate family members.[26]

Demographics[edit]

As of September 1, 2008, the Mississippi Department of Corrections has 26,274 inmates in its custody. 17,677 (67.28%) are Black, 8,269 (31.47%) are White, 236 (.09%) are Hispanic, 43 (.16%) are Asian, 27 (.01%) are Native American, and 22 (.06%) have that data unavailable. Of the 23,692 male inmates, 16,366 (69.08%) are Black, 7,030 (29.67%) are White, 222 (.94%) are Hispanic, 35 (.15%) are Asian, 23 (.1%) are Native American, and 16 (.07%) have that data unavailable. Of the 2,582 female inmates, 1,311 (50.77%) are Black, 1,239 (47.99%) are White, 14 (.54%) are Hispanic, 8 (.31%) are Asian, 4 (.15%) are Native American, and 6 (.23%) have that data unavailable.[27]

Facilities[edit]

Mississippi Department of Corrections is located in Mississippi
CMCF (♂♀)
CMCF (♂♀)
MSP (Parchman)
MSP (Parchman)
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State prisons in Mississippi

State prisons[edit]

All state prisons are in unincorporated areas:

Joint county/regional prisons[edit]

Private prisons[edit]

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Private prisons in Mississippi

Prisoner rules[edit]

Men may have hair that is not more than 3 inches (76 mm) in length. Men may have beards and goatees up to .5 inches (13 mm) in length.[31]

Prisoner uniforms[edit]

Most prisoner outfits are striped. As of 1997, green stripes indicate lower security prisoners, black stripes indicate prisoners with a level higher than the ones with green stripes, and red stripes indicate high security prisoners.[32]

Reception and Classification Center inmates wear yellow jumpsuits.[33] Condemned prisoners are required to wear red jumpsuits.[34][35]

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, 6 officers have died in the line of duty.[36]

Media campaigns[edit]

The New Jersey Department of Corrections, the state prison system of New Jersey, established the "Be Smart Choose Freedom" television advertisement campaign in 2005. The State of New Jersey produced 30-60 second public service announcements to warn state residents against going to prison.[37] MDOC decided to start its own "Be Smart Choose Freedom" campaign and use the commercials that aired in New Jersey.[38]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Home page. Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on December 8, 2009. "723 N. President Street Jackson, MS 39202."
  2. ^ a b "Article 14 -- No Title": "Convicts Who Are In Demand After Serving Terms." (Direct article link) The New York Times. Retrieved on August 14, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Cabana, Donald A. "The History of Capital Punishment in Mississippi: An Overview." Mississippi History Now. Mississippi Historical Society. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman) Photo Collections." Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Retrieved on August 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Oshinsky, David M.: Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. Free Press, 1997. p. 249.
  6. ^ Crisp, Elizabeth. "Early release strategies produce empty prison beds." The Clarion-Ledger. October 1, 2011. Retrieved on October 6, 2011.
  7. ^ "Division of Institutions." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on October 10, 2010.
  8. ^ "Agricultural Enterprises." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Updated on February 25, 2010. Retrieved on October 10, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Division of Classification & Offender Services." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  10. ^ "Community Corrections Division." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Updated on February 25, 2010. Retrieved on October 10, 2010.
  11. ^ "What is Reception & Classification (R&C)?" Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
  12. ^ "Chapter I." Inmate Handbook. Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
  13. ^ "Where do new inmates go when first moved from the local county jail to MDOC custody?" Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "MDOC Healthcare Services." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on July 24, 2010.
  15. ^ "Contact Us." Wexford Health Sources. Retrieved on August 14, 2010. "Wexford Health Sources, Inc. 425 Holiday Drive Foster Plaza Two Pittsburgh, PA 15220."
  16. ^ Twedt, Steve. "Wexford Health works with inmates." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Sunday April 12, 2009. Retrieved on August 14, 2010.
  17. ^ "Article: Briefs: Comcast eyeing Findlay site for office space." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. July 1, 2006. Retrieved on August 14, 2010. "Wexford Health Sources Inc of Green Tree has been awarded a $95 million three year contract to provide healthcare services to more than 14000 Mississippi..."
  18. ^ a b "Medical Services." Mississippi Department of Corrections. December 21, 2003. Retrieved on August 14, 2010.
  19. ^ Jonsson, Greg. Complaints swirl around prison care Creve Coeur-based firm faces inquiries and suits." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 7, 2007. A4. Retrieved on August 14, 2010.
  20. ^ "Contact CMS - General Inquiry." Correctional Medical Services. Retrieved on August 14, 2010. "Correctional Medical Services, Inc. 12647 Olive Blvd. Saint Louis, Missouri 63141 USA."
  21. ^ "Critics: Death row is causing insanity." Associated Press at Gainesville Sun. April 25, 2003. 2A. Retrieved from Google News Page 25 of 93 on August 14, 2010.
  22. ^ "Intensive Supervision Program." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on November 1, 2010.
  23. ^ "Death Row." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
  24. ^ "Division of Institutions State Prisons." Mississippi Department of Corrections. April 21, 2010. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
  25. ^ Sanburn, Josh. "Mississippi Ending Conjugal Visits for Prisoners." TIME. January 13, 2014. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  26. ^ "State Prisons." (Archive) Mississippi Department of Corrections, updated April 2, 2013. Retrieved on April 10, 2013.
  27. ^ "Fact Sheet." Mississippi Department of Corrections. 2/3. Updated on September 1, 2008. Retrieved on July 24, 2010.
  28. ^ "Private Prisons." (Archive) Mississippi Department of Corrections. Updated October 18, 2012. Retrieved on October 23, 2012.
  29. ^ "042.jpg." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on September 18, 2010.
  30. ^ "Walnut Grove." First Impressions. Mississippi State University, February 2008. 0 (3/21). Retrieved on August 14, 2010. "Looking at the MDA profile, the population growth is impressive (year 2000 – 488, year 2006 – 1,424). However, we learned that most of this population growth has been due to the location and annexation of the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility."
  31. ^ "CHAPTER VI RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND REGULATIONS." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 13, 2010.
  32. ^ "A recession-proof industry." The Economist. November 13, 1997. Retrieved on March 1, 2011.
  33. ^ "Chapter VII." Inmate Handbook. Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 14, 2010.
  34. ^ Straziuso, Jason. "Miss. prepares chamber for 1st execution since '89." The Advocate. July 14, 2002. News 10B. Retrieved on August 13, 2010. "The execution chamber is lodged in the back of Unit 17 on the Parchman campus. The unit once housed all death row inmates, but its 56 beds are no longer"
  35. ^ "Miss. prepares chamber for 1st execution since '89." The Advocate. July 14, 2002. Retrieved on June 4, 2011. "He will wear the solid red jumpsuit the Mississippi Department of Corrections assigns to all death row inmates."
  36. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page
  37. ^ Fedkenheuer, Deirdre. "Be Smart - Choose Freedom: New Jersey unveils its crime prevention campaign." Corrections Today. April 2005. 1. Retrieved on August 12, 2010.
  38. ^ "Be Smart. Choose Freedom." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 12, 2010.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]