U.S. District Judge William Barbour is responding to a trial from four months ago concerning conditions at East Mississippi Correctional Facility near Meridian. The American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center represented the group of inmates who alleged the conditions violated the eighth amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
While the Mississippi Department of Corrections said that they have made key improvements, Barbour maintains that his visit to the prison implied otherwise.
Barbour ordered reports on East Mississippi’s medical care, including mental health, and staffing numbers due by December with the potential for a hearing in January.
“want private prisons out of business”
Shaw said that conditions are no worse than other prisons and claimed violence is “the nature of prisons.”
The inmates testified that they found rodent droppings in the prison’s kitchen and often times toilets and showers were backed up with sewage. The inmates also allegedly found cockroaches.
A group of inmates testified that an inmate died because of a medical emergency. He was lying in his cell unconscious in his feces and urine, while the other inmates banged on their doors to get the guards attention.
Lawyers defending the state argued conditions were not that bad in many cases, alleging that inmates were to blame. They claimed that plumbing problems often resulted from inmates flushing things down the toilet and that lights were broken because prisoners used wires to make weapons.
The re-examination of the prison will better allow U.S. District Judge William Barbour to come to a conclusion in this matter.