Condemn Prison for Treating Inmates like Barbarians

Target: Mississippi Department of Corrections

Goal: Demand East Mississippi Correctional Facility stop violating inmates’ human rights by providing better care and a cleaner environment.

Recently, two civil liberties groups filed a federal lawsuit against Mississippi Department of Corrections, alleging that a privately-run state prison for severely mentally ill inmates is infested with rats that prisoners sell to one another as pets. According to  the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the private prison, named East Mississippi Correctional Facility, “is an extremely dangerous facility operating in a perpetual state of crisis” where inmates’ human rights are constantly being violated.

The 83-page complaint documents countless horrible stories, detailing the ways the prison treats the inmates inhumanely. Approximately 1500 prisoners live in squalid quarters without working lights. Most if not all of the prisoners do not have access to functional toilets and must defecate on Styrofoam trays or into trash bags. The lawsuit also claims that an otherwise healthy prisoner had to remove a testicle after prison officials repeatedly refused him medical help even when his testicle had swelled up to the size of a softball from cancer. Furthermore, the rat infestation has caused some inmates to use them as currency, trading the rodents for cigarettes or selling them as pets.

No one should be forced to live in such filthy conditions, and no one should be denied medical help. It is incomprehensible that state prison officials have been aware of the conditions at the facility for years, but have chosen to ignore the problems. Demand these horrendous and inhumane issues be fixed immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mississippi Department of Corrections,

Over 1500 mentally ill inmates of East Mississippi Correctional Facility continue to live in filthy conditions while you choose to ignore the many problems that plague them. I am sure you are well aware of the fact that they live in quarters without working lights. Furthermore, some, if not all, of the quarters have no functional toilets. These inmates are forced to defecate on trays or into trash bags just because the privately-run facility wants to make more money.

It is your job to regulate the prisons. Inmates are still human beings. They should not be denied basic human rights. Allowing the facility to operate under such barbaric conditions will not help these mentally ill prisoners get better. In fact, such conditions will exacerbate their already precarious state of mind. Start doing your job and make sure prisons are not places where people go and give up on living. Force East Mississippi Correctional Facility to clean up the mess and create a healthier place for its inmates.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dylan Oliphant via Wikimedia Commons

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