“Barbaric and Horrific Conditions” Alleged at MS Prison for Mentally Ill


Mentally ill inmates in a Mississippi prison live in “barbaric and horrific conditions” with rats climbing over their beds and mice crawling out of broken toilets, charges a new lawsuit reported by Bloomberg Business Week. The East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian is “extremely dangerous,” lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a proposed class-action case. “Rapes, stabbings, beatings, and other acts of violence are rampant,” says the complaint. “Defendants housed one 16-year-old prisoner in a cell with an adult who sexually assaulted him.”

The suit charged that inmates at the prison, operated by Management and Training Corp., capture rats, put them on improvised leashes and sell them to other seriously mentally ill inmates. The solitary confinement section is known as the “dead area” because security officers avoid the area. “The air is so contaminated from frequent fires that some prisoners expel black mucous from their noses,” the suit charges. Issa Arnita, a spokesman for the prison operator, based in Centerville, Utah, said the company has operated the facility for the past 10 months and that the majority of the allegations t took place before then. “This is a prison that has had issues,” Arnita said. “It's a lot better now than it was before.”

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