The Mississippi Department of Corrections is working with Management & Training Corp. (MTC) and Health Assurance to respond to a federal lawsuit filed recently over alleged conditions at East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) near Meridian in Lauderdale County.
It is the agency's policy to let the facts play out in court. However, the allegations made against MDOC officials are unfairly damaging to its commitment to provide efficient and effective offender custody, care, control and treatment consistent with sound correctional principles and constitutional practices.
When MDOC has been made aware of problems, it has responded accordingly. It does not knowingly ignore informed and sound requests for solutions. Prison in itself can be considered barbaric.
"MDOC has monitors at all of its prisons, including EMCF," Commissioner Christopher B. Epps said. "MDOC was not satisfied with EMCF's previous operator, The GEO Group Inc., and the plaintiffs in the recent lawsuit agreed with the decision to go with a new operator. The plaintiffs indicated they were happy when MTC was hired. Now they indicate they want the current operator fired. We believe that MTC is doing a good job, and are confident the court will agree."
The mere fact that MDOC has settled prior litigation with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) shows its willingness to sit at the table to listen, to do what is right, based on facts, Epps said.
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