Tupelo church holds prison reform press conference

One Tupelo church is demanding prison reform for the entire state of Mississippi.

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 7:44 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - One Tupelo church is demanding prison reform for the entire state of Mississippi.

Tupelo resident Alfanette Vaughn says she struggles with her son's safety every day.

“How’s he doing? What’s going on? So I’m just constantly in prayer,” Vaughn said.

Her son Marcus is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Parchman prison for attempted robbery and shoplifting.

In the last month, nine inmates have died in the facility. The Sunflower County coroner attributed three of those deaths to violence.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections put Parchman on lockdown on Dec. 29, 2019. MDOC lifted it on Jan. 10.

But Vaughn says she hasn’t spoken to her son since last year, and when she does call the prison, she’s often left with more questions than answers.

She says she leans on her faith and the members of Red Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church. They, alongside Rep. Rickey Thompson, held a press conference to announce their plan for prison reform.

"The entire Mississippi prison system, especially Parchman is a humanitarian crisis," Rev. Jeffery Gladney said. "No one deserves to live in squalor or in fear that their life will be taken in the middle of the night."

Part of the group’s plan includes amending House Bill 585. This is a bill that the state passed in 2014 which oversees the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

They hope the legislature would consider the following:

  • Closing Parchman and moving inmates to a suitable facility, releasing juveniles who don’t have life without parole convictions and vulnerable adults who completed their sentences.
  • They are also asking the Mississippi governor to launch an independent investigation into those who died while at Parchman.
  • Thompson also says he hopes the money the state saves from these amendments will go toward programs to help keep inmates out of jail once they are released.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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