Congressmen on prison conditions in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Two United States congressmen from Mississippi discussed the prison conditions in the state.

While Rep. Bennie Thompson and Rep. Michael Guest may not agree on the timeline, they both agreed something needs to be done.

“The notion with Parchman is unfortunate. You know we have facilities for people who do wrong. But even when we put them in those facilities, there’s an expectation that is that they will be treated humanely. And the issues around health and safety should not be compromised just because they made a mistake,” said Thompson. “So this is not being weak on crime, this is saying that any institution has to follow the law.”

Rep. Guest said, “There was also supposed to be a component for job trainings in prisons, dealing with things to make sure people who are incarcerated had access to schools, GED programs, college credits, drug and alcohol [rehabilitation programs]. There was supposed to be transitional beds, so we could transition people from incarceration into public life. And I think that we have not done a good job of prioritizing that. We continue to do a good job of keeping people locked up, but we’re not providing them the skills to be successful when they get out.”

You can hear the full interview between Rep. Guest and 12 News’ Byron Brown on Mississippi Insight on Saturday at 10:35 p.m.

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