JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves announced on Wednesday that the last inmates are being transferred out of Unit 29 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
Reeves said the inmates are being moved to a temporary housing facility, which is the Tallahatchie Correctional Facility. He said leaders are looking at the possibility of moving the inmates to the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility. A final decision has not been made at this time.
The Reeves administration renegotiated the price for housing, achieving a nearly 5% reduction in the cost per prisoner. The inmates will now be housed at a rate of $62.50/day compared to the previous $65/day rate. Only death row—which is required by law to remain on the premises—and a support services building which helps maintain the rest of the prison will remain in operation.
According to the governor, the only parts of Unit 29 that will remain open include Death Row and a support services building. He said the legislature has been notified about the progress.
Reeves said he’s looking forward to finding a permanent commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The deadline to apply for the job is February 29, 2020.
“We also need to remember why we’re doing all of this. We need a Department of Corrections that corrects criminal behavior. We need a department that prevents future violence or crimes. We don’t want anyone who leaves this system to return. We want them to go on to lead lives of purpose, meaning, and dignity,” said Governor Tate Reeves at a press conference to update the public on his efforts to reform the department. “Justice must be our focus—for all Mississippians. We have never forgotten that during our work to restore order, and it will be an ongoing effort throughout our time in office.”
The announcement comes after the deaths of more than a dozen inmates at MDOC.