Good News: Barbaric Private Prison in Mississippi Closes Its Doors After SPLC Lawsuit
This is excellent news and it doesn’t look like it’s been posted here yet. I gave a donation to the SPLC for the first time this month and I think it was money very well spent. They’re doing very important work, especially in light of the current political climate.
The state of Mississippi closed one of the most dangerous prisons in America today, six years after the Southern Poverty Law Center and other advocates sued the state to protect youthful offenders from rampant violence and sexual assault at the facility operated by a string of private, for-profit companies.
The closing of the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility comes less than a month after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced plans to phase out the use of privatized prisons, citing concerns about the lack of safety and effectiveness in comparison to government-run prisons.
“Good riddance to Walnut Grove, a cesspool sponsored by Mississippians’ tax dollars,” said Jody Owens, managing attorney in the SPLC’s Jackson, Miss., office. “Private prison contracts aren’t just bad investments, they are licenses for neglect and abuse. It is long past time for Gov. Bryant to take taxpayers’ money out of private prisons and put it into rehabilitative programs that prepare incarcerated persons for re-entry into society.”
The SPLC, along with the ACLU and Jackson-based civil rights attorney Robert McDuff, sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections in November 2010, alleging a culture of violence and corruption that endangered youths. Among them was a young man who suffered severe brain damage after being stabbed and beaten in a brawl that DOJ investigators later wrote had been “endorsed” by a guard who allowed prisoners “into an authorized cell to fight.”