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Gov. Tate Reeves addresses prison crisis, lays out improvements

Gov. Tate Reeves acknowledged there are problems within the state’s prison system.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 11:14 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - Gov. Tate Reeves addressed the growing crises at Mississippi’s prisons.

Since the end of December, 10 inmates have died across the state, many by violent means.

“There is a leadership crisis in our prison system,” he said. “For too long, there has not been accountability. There has not been a steady hand on the wheel. I am grateful that Commissioner Taylor is beginning to make progress. These problems did not spring up overnight, and they will not be solved overnight, but the necessary work has begun. The lives and dignity of all within this system must be protected.”

He and Tommy Taylor, the interim leader of the Department of Corrections, visited the State Penitentiary at Parchman and the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility on Thursday.

Last week, the governor announced Taylor’s appointment to serve as interim commissioner. Taylor fills the position formerly held by Pelicia Hall who stepped down earlier this month.

MDOC closed Walnut Grove in 2016 due to violence and gang activity. The state is still paying for the facility, but no inmates are housed there.

Reeves believes a solution to the current crisis could be to reopen Walnut Grove. The building is not perfect, he said, but better than some buildings at Parchman. The governor also believes moving inmates to Walnut Grove would limit inmates passing contraband or hiding it.

Discussions about the status of inmates at Parchman are ongoing and no final determination for a long-term solution has been made yet. Work to improve the conditions at Parchman is underway.

Reeves instructed the Department of Public Safety to assign an officer from the state Bureau of Investigation to serve at Parchman. The officer will be stationed at Parchman to investigate any criminal activity, done by inmates of correctional staff, and provide a full, independent investigation. That officer has been selected and is being deployed, Reeves announced Thursday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20931250
Hinds19961410
Harrison17562303
Rankin13369277
Jackson13156243
Madison9950212
Lee9890170
Jones8310161
Forrest7542148
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6289144
Lamar613384
Lafayette6072117
Washington5291133
Bolivar4776129
Oktibbeha457197
Panola4458103
Pearl River4437141
Warren4299119
Marshall4286102
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4062132
Union404675
Neshoba4005176
Lincoln3886109
Hancock373385
Leflore3471124
Sunflower331589
Tate325384
Pike3215105
Scott311472
Yazoo305069
Alcorn299465
Itawamba297877
Copiah293965
Coahoma290479
Simpson289586
Tippah285168
Prentiss276659
Marion266279
Leake261773
Wayne261541
Grenada256484
Covington255280
Adams246982
Newton245761
George238547
Winston226081
Tishomingo222567
Jasper220048
Attala213673
Chickasaw205457
Holmes187172
Clay183254
Stone179733
Clarke177776
Tallahatchie176140
Calhoun165431
Yalobusha160136
Smith159334
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126534
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113832
Jefferson Davis105532
Tunica103225
Claiborne101330
Benton97525
Kemper95628
Humphreys94632
Franklin82923
Quitman78916
Choctaw73917
Wilkinson65128
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521623

Reported Deaths: 10739
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754061493
Mobile39067799
Madison34040496
Tuscaloosa25367444
Montgomery24019567
Shelby23186239
Baldwin20701302
Lee15589165
Calhoun14342311
Morgan14158271
Etowah13685346
Marshall11995220
Houston10404278
Elmore10011200
Limestone9852147
Cullman9503189
St. Clair9463234
Lauderdale9265228
DeKalb8757181
Talladega8115171
Walker7139275
Jackson6756110
Autauga6750103
Blount6519134
Colbert6229130
Coffee5424113
Dale4772111
Russell430038
Franklin420782
Chilton4101109
Covington4061114
Tallapoosa3907146
Escambia390174
Dallas3525149
Chambers3514122
Clarke347060
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295995
Winston273172
Bibb256059
Marengo248361
Geneva246075
Pickens233259
Barbour226455
Hale218575
Butler212967
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182644
Randolph177241
Monroe172540
Washington165238
Macon155648
Clay150155
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124427
Bullock121640
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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Columbus
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Oxford
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Some spotty showers will move through our area this morning but should clear out by the afternoon. We should see some breaks in the clouds and temperatures reaching the mid to upper 60s.
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