Sweltering Heat, Hunger Strikes, Sewage, Spider Bites: Inmates in Mississippi are Living in Conditions Unfit for Human Beings

Late last night a post came across my timeline on Twitter that immediately grabbed my attention. It was a post from twitter user JohnMar37456849 who shared several disturbing images of the conditions of two state prisons Marshall County Correctional Facility (MCCF) and Mississippi State Prison Unit 29 in Parchman, MS- a slave plantation. The images included photographs of inmates who have been bitten by black widow spiders, cells and prison floors flooding with sewage and water as inmates locked inside yelled for help and food that looked unrecognizable and not even remotely associated with something a human being should consume.

Below are some of the photographs, tweets, and videos taken from posts that were shared on the timeline and other photos that were also shared with me as via email as well:

Inmates are sleeping on floors next to fans because there is no air in the units. On the date of this photo it was 95 Degrees in Mississippi however it felt like 110 degrees according to the apple weather App.
In this photo the food is being served on trays that appear to have black or green mold gathering on the trays. If exposed to Black mold spores for extended periods of time a person’s immune system can shut down and the mold can cause brain damage or death.
Some of the inmates are going on Hunger Strikes refusing to eat the molded “food’ from the trays. Please enlarge the tweet to see a close up of what this “Food” looks like.
More images of the food. I honestly thought the 4th picture was… something other than food.
In this video you can see flooding taking place and the narrator stating “This is how they got us living in MDOC. The Whole top Floor is Flooded.”
More flooding.
In this particular photo you see a full grown black widow spider net to an inmates bed and images of spider bites that have been untreated.

In visiting a client several years ago while at Parchman, I distinctively remember personally witnessing a very large rat run from the small office space that they’d allowed us to sit in with our client into the hallway where the inmates cells were located. I dismissed it because of the fact that the prison itself was literally in the middle of a field on a plantation surrounded by swamp and marsh, but, these photos reveal something much deeper- forgotten people. The despicable conditions in which these men and women are forced to live can not be understated and they certainly should not be ignored.

The sharer of the photos and videos wanted to emphasize that the movement to highlight the destitute nature of the conditions of the prisoners is being lead by the Growth and Development Organization also known as the GDs. In an effort to expedite change they have sought to change their circumstances by changing the state of the environment around them to the extent that they could. They also created a list of demands: Improve the living conditions and the food, Stop Corporal and Group Punishment, Make House Bill 585 Retroactive (Bill states people convicted of nonviolent offenses must serve 25% of time reflected on sentence and those convicted of violent offenses must serve at least 50% of their sentence), restore conjugal visitation.

Because of the very nature of mass incarceration as an institution, Mississippi as a state, and the images we have seen, It is clear that it is our people, black people that are most impacted by the grossly inhumane conditions characterized and depicted in the photographs and images above. As the descendants of enslaved Africans and slain and unjustly persecuted activists and revolutionaries, we invoke the spirits of our ancestors as we stand collectively in outrage over the conditions of our brothers and sisters and the conditions of all people currently incarcerated in the prisons seen here and those we have not yet seen but know to be cruel and inhumane. We will make it our mission to ensure that the voices of our incarcerated brothers and sisters are heard and that those that must be accountable to them as government agents and entities in MDOC SHALL be accountable to them. We demand that the demands of our brothers and sisters be heard and that the necessary changes be made to ensure that the incarcerated men and women in the legal custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections experience conditions that comply with their Constitutional Rights as they are Articulated through the Prohibition of Cruel and Unusual Punishments clause of the VIII Amendment. We demand that these conditions be met with swift, effective, and sustainable solutions that address their needs from their living conditions, to their health care, to the food they consume.

Note: If you or a loved one is currently suffering or experiencing similar plight as a result of being subjected to conditions like the ones described here or like any of this, whether in Mississippi or elsewhere or if you want to be a part of fighting back against these types of conditions on a local, statewide, and national level reach out to us here at blackwithnochaser.com or via email at info@blackwithnochaser.com Re: Prison Conditions.

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