JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Organizations across the metro and the country gathered at the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force meeting to express concerns about Mississippi prisons.
“Not a day go by that we have to deal with this knowing our child has been murdered,” said one attendee.
Personal and emotional stories were shared Friday at the meeting in Jackson. One woman claimed her brother and nephew were killed in Parchman. Another said her son constantly complains about conditions, and she’s worried about his safety.
“My brother and my nephew used to tell us how the guards, a lot of the guards, would bring contraband… sell it to the inmates, and when they weren’t able to pay them for it, they would send a hit out on them,” said Hynefa Jones.
“The conditions they living in is pathetic. My dog live better than most of them,” said Josephine Malone, the mother of a Parchman inmate.
Since 2013, the task force has served as a liaison between the public and lawmakers, encouraging lawmakers to move state prisons forward through recommendations. The group Color of Change came all the way from New York to see how they can help push lawmakers to take action.
“We heard some promising things happen in that room with the recommendations that are handed in, and that are going to be taken to the legislature, and asking them what are they going to do to implement this – because this is the board, a body that y’all appointed,” said Malachi Robinson.
Those who lost loved ones nearly three decades ago say this problem is bigger than just Mississippi, it’s nationwide.
“Think about it, if that was your son, if that was your nephew, if that was your uncle, how would you feel?” said advocate Charle Muhammad.
“It’s a nationwide problem. My heart goes out to anyone inside the prison walls, and like I said we need to start renewing ourselves individually,” said advocate Aziatikk Black.