South Mississippi Correctional Institution

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South Mississippi Correctional Institution
Location22689 Mississippi 63
Leakesville, Mississippi
Statusopen
Security classmixed
Capacity3204
Opened1989
Managed byMississippi Department of Corrections

South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) is a Mississippi Department of Corrections prison for men located in unincorporated Greene County,[1] near Leakesville.[2][3] The facility has 360 acres (150 ha) of land.[2]

History[edit]

Dedication ceremonies were scheduled for April 1989, and the moving in of the first 25 inmates was scheduled to occur on April 17, 1989.[4] The prison opened on April 13, 1990, with an initial capacity of 516 prisoners.[5] It was designed by Dale and Associates.[6] In 2001 the groundbreaking for a new chapel occurred.[7]

Jerry Mitchell of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting stated that upon SCMI's opening, it "provided employment for a job-starved small town."[8]

Demographics[edit]

As of September 1, 2008, South Mississippi Correctional Institution, with a capacity of 3,204, had 3,106 prisoners, making up a total of 21.57% of people within the Mississippi Department of Corrections-operated prisons, county jails, and community work centers.[9] Of the inmates at SMCI, all of whom are male, 2,088 are Black, 962 are White, 45 are Hispanic, nine are Asian, and two are Native American.[10]

Operations[edit]

In the late 2010s SMCI faced a combination of severe budget cuts, low levels of enforcement officer staffing, and conditions dangerous to staff and prisoners. State senator and Leaksville native Dennis DeBar drew a direct connection between the prison's staff vacancy rate of just under 50% -- half of its necessary jobs filled—and the offered starting salary of $25,000 per year.[11] An investigation by the state Attorney General's office into the escape of a felon inmate named Michael Wilson in July 2018 found that SMCI was hampered from communicating or coordinating with other agencies, posing risk to public safety. The prison had no apparent command structure, did not use expected radio frequencies, was not aware of the inmate's absence for two hours while he interacted with Leaksville citizens, and did not share information about the inmate's prior escape and prior destination. That might have caused his re-capture sooner, because Wilson traveled the same way.[12]

Some MDOC farming operations occur at SMCI.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Greene County, MS" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 4 (PDF p. 5/9). Retrieved 2022-08-12. South Mississippi Correctional Instn
  2. ^ a b "State Prisons Archived 2002-12-06 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
  3. ^ "MDOC QUICK REFERENCE." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on May 21, 2010.
  4. ^ "MISSISSIPPI." USA Today. April 13, 1989. News 11A. Retrieved on August 30, 2010. "LEAKESVILLE - Dedication ceremonies were set for state's newest prison; 1st 25 inmates arrive Monday. South Mississippi Correctional Institution will employ 286, house 500."
  5. ^ "A Brief History of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Archived 2010-08-19 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Retrieved on July 21, 2010.
  6. ^ "Correctional." Dale And Associates. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
  7. ^ "Groundbreaking held for new chapel at South Mississippi Correctional Institution." Mississippi Department of Corrections. November 5, 2001. Retrieved on August 13, 2010.
  8. ^ Mitchell, Jerry (2019-08-19). "Inside The Prison Where Inmates Set Each Other On Fire and Gangs Have More Power Than Guards". Propublica. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
  9. ^ "Fact Sheet Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Department of Corrections. 1/3. Updated on September 1, 2008. Retrieved on July 24, 2010.
  10. ^ "Fact Sheet Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Department of Corrections. 2/3. Updated on September 1, 2008. Retrieved on July 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Keeton, Hugh (21 February 2019). "Facing critical staff shortages, lawmakers explore increasing salaries for prison guards". WLOX Biloxi Mississippi. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  12. ^ Burlinson, David. "State of Mississippi AGO Investigation". Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Agricultural Enterprises Archived 2010-08-20 at the Wayback Machine." Mississippi Department of Corrections. Updated on February 25, 2010. Retrieved on October 10, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°10′35″N 88°36′25″W / 31.17639°N 88.60694°W / 31.17639; -88.60694