Mississippi State Department of Corrections Lockdown-Stop Group Punishment!
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On April 20, 2018, a statewide lockdown of Mississippi Prisons was enacted. The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) cited for security reasons and nothing else. This lockdown took away commissary, visitation, and outside recreation for its inmates. It was only supposed to be for a weekend.
Nearly one week later, on April 26, 2018 lockdown was lifted at regional jails in the state, but not state prisons. The MDOC did not give answers as to why only some facilities got the lockdown lifted and others didn’t. Again, depriving inmates of canteen where they get hygiene items.
Now, nearly two weeks after the initial statewide lockdown, MDOC Commissioner Hall states that an unexpected amount of contraband was found at Mississippi State Prison at Parchman. The release only names one unit in the prison...unit 29, to be exact.
In the meantime, inmates are being deprived of basic necessities like hygiene products (no canteen). They are being kept away from their families. They are being punished as a group for the actions of a few. Every inmate has the right to be free under the Eighth Amendment from inhumane treatment or anything that could be considered “cruel and unusual” punishment. Unfortunately, the Eighth Amendment did not clearly define what “cruel and unusual” punishment includes, meaning much of the definition has derived from case law. Generally speaking, any punishment that is considered inhumane treatment, like torture or abuse, or a violation of a person's basic dignity may be considered cruel and unusual within the discretion of the court.
We must also mention the families affected by Commissioner Hall’s decision. While these men and women are simply inmates to MDOC, the family on the outside, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, and wives are suffering as well. Worrying about their loved ones and if they have basic necessities. This treatment is completely inhumane and rights of inmates are being violated. In turn, Hall's decision has affected thousands in and out of the
Group punishment for the actions of a few is not good for the rehabilitation of these men and women in the system. The inhumane treatment of these men and women has to stop. Answers must be given before this group punishment leads to desperation from inmates who are tired of being punished for crimes they did not commit. The MDOC methods of punishment must be investigated.
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