JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Prisoner advocates are calling on the federal government to investigate Mississippi’s prison system for possible civil rights violations.
They say five deaths in recent days highlights deliberate violations of inmates’ constitutional rights.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups say they will send the letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Justice.
U.S. Rep Bennie Thompson called Sunday for a federal investigation.
The deaths and violence have focused attention on a prison system that fills only half its guard posts.
The letter says violence is “directly linked to acute understaffing” and funding has declined.
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Tomorrow, I will be requesting that the U.S. Attorney General launch an investigation into the ongoing failures in safety, security, health, and environmental standards within the Mississippi Department of Corrections. This is unacceptable.
— Bennie G. Thompson (@BennieGThompson) January 5, 2020