JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves held a news conference to address the changes within the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
The changes are as follows:
- Improving conditions – Maintenance teams from across the state have been deployed to begin work to improve conditions at Parchman
- Bringing leadership to the front lines – All wardens and deputy wardens have been put on 12 hour shifts to have leadership present at all times
- Crackdown on contraband – Managed Access System blocks the signal of contraband cell phones; now being utilized at every Parchman housing unit
- Fixing guard screening – Officers will be screened for signs of Security Threat Group (gang) affiliation
- Relocating prisoners – Prisoners will be re-distributed throughout the prison
- Investigating criminal activity – Agent deployed to Parchman to investigate criminal activity within MDOC or by prisoners
- Increasing transparency – MDOC staff have been instructed to provide as much information to the public as possible about deadly incidents in the system
According to the governor’s office, MDOC Commissioner Tommy Taylor has worked hard with Gov. Reeves to restore and maintain order throughout the department, specifically at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
Gov. Reeves said he visited Parchman and the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility in the past 24 hours. He toured Unit 29, 32 and Death Row at Parchman, along with Vicksburg Mayor George Flags, Jr., who is helping in the search effort for a new MDOC Commissioner. Gov. Reeves said the conditions of the units vary and parts of Unit 29 are empty.
According to Gov. Reeves, the state is not asking for additional funding for the prison system at this time. If and when the funding becomes necessary, Gov. Reeves said his administration will go to the state legislature.