Several weeks ago we explored the subject of “Corrections” https://crookedcreek.live/?s=corrections here on Crooked Creek. Several readers had important comments to make on the subject. Recently I read a story about a prison in Mississippi which I may not have believed had it not been published by The Marshall Project. The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. It strives to educate regarding the state of criminal justice.
Mississippi has long been known as a troubled prison system. The particular privately operated institution described in a report by Joseph Neff and Alysia Santo is Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. The report is accompanied by a security videotape of an attack on a prisoner which resulted in his death four days later. You can view that disturbing video at https://www.themarshallproject.org/2019/06/26/corporate-confession-gangs-ran-this-private-prison
On January 31, 2018, twenty-six-year-old Brad Fitch arrived at the prison. The video shows him being chased, then attacked by two inmates, one of whom had a handmade knife. Fitch was stabbed ten times and died at a hospital. In spite of the video showing his killers, no one has been charged for the murder. It turns out the men were just doing their jobs.
An internal audit revealed that this privately run prison was so short on employees (guards) that the warden, who has since resigned, used inmate gangs to control the prison population. Fitch and his killers were actually members of the same gang, called Simon City Warriors, a white gang affiliated with the Gangster Disciples. The killers caught on security cameras were settling a score with Fitch from two years before.
As we learned before many, if not most, prisons have trouble hiring and retaining people for low paying, dangerous jobs. Wilkinson has a turnover rate of 90% and even though they have raised the hourly wage to $11.25 per hour more than a third of its positions are vacant.
I encourage those of you interested in the subject of criminal justice to read the entire Marshall Project report at the link listed above.
“America is the land of the second chance – and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.” George W. Bush