Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has announced a major prisoner transfer from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman’s Unit 29.
Reeves said the last inmates from Unit 29’s major housing facilities will be removed through this new agreement – fulfilling the promise from his State of the State Address to close Unit 29.
Inmates have been transferred from the unit through reclassification and exchanges for lower-security inmates since the Governor indicated his intention to remove them from the troubled unit. This transfer allows the remaining inmates to be moved to the nearby Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility.
During the prison violence in January, 375 inmates were transferred and these remaining prisoners will be transported in the coming weeks. The physical transfer began Wednesday morning.
The governor said this is a temporary housing solution to quickly and safely remove inmates from the environment at Unit 29 of Parchman, while a long-term solution is identified.
“We also need to remember why we’re doing all of this,” said Reeves in a press conference today. “We need a Department of Corrections that corrects criminal behavior. We need a department that prevents future violence or crimes. We don’t want anyone who leaves this system to return. We want them to go on to lead lives of purpose, meaning, and dignity.
“Justice must be our focus – for all Mississippians,” said Reeves. “We have never forgotten that during our work to restore order, and it will be an ongoing effort throughout our time in office.”
The Reeves administration renegotiated the price for housing, achieving a nearly 5-percent reduction in the cost per prisoner. The inmates will now be housed at a rate of $62.50 per-day compared to the previous $65 rate.
Only death row – which is required by law to remain on the premises – and a support services building which helps maintain the rest of the prison will remain in operation.
The Governor also updated the public on efforts to rein in misspending at the department, find a permanent solution to the management crisis, reduce the prison population and preventing recidivism.