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NCJ Number: 98101 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Litigation on Mississippi's Prison System
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:65  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring-Summer 1985)  Pages:54-63
Author(s): C B Hopper
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Analysis of the history of corrections in Mississippi shows that litigation had a major impact on prison conditions, although many changes would have occurred without the litigation and some aspects of the changes have been detrimental.
Abstract: During much of the 20th century, the 22,000-acre Parchman Plantation was synonymous with prison in Mississippi in that it was the site of the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Like other southern penal farms, Parchman developed a national reputation as a prison rife with exploitation, brutality, and degradation. The 1970 killing of a prisoner by two guards led to the 1970 civil rights lawsuit, Gates v. Collier. Four days before the case was to go to trial, the State conceded that the violations cited in the complaint were true. These included racial segregation, unfit housing, inadequate medical staff and facilities, confinement of all types of inmates together, corporal punishment, confinement in a 'dark hole,' improper disciplinary proceedings, and inordinate mail censorship. The judge ordered immediate changes, many of which occurred very quickly. The legislature's appropriation of over $10 million in 1973 resulted in major changes. The prison now has most prisoners in two large facilities rather than a series of small camps; various changes in inmate programming and internal procedures have also occurred. However, the sharp population increase resulting from public demands for more incarceration has made increased prison construction and security of inmates, rather than inmate programs, the State's highest priorities. The small units and personal character that were the most positive features of the old system have been lost. The correctional system will ultimately have to follow its master plan. Four footnotes and three references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Corrections management; Lawsuits; Mississippi; Prisoner's rights
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