Mississippi Corrections is reporting that while this historic ice storm has certainly challenged and strained resources at all prisons, MDOC maintenance crews have worked around the clock to keep heat up for inmates.
Some inmates are now complaining that their cellblocks are too hot.
It was business as usual for most inmates at Parchman, CMCF and SMCI in nearly all units. A boiler at Unit 29 of Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman malfunctioned Tuesday, forcing Corrections officers to move 20 inmates while the boiler was being replaced.
Meanwhile, many of the prisoners system-wide were issued blankets and thermal clothing while maintenance crews worked repairing heating systems.
“But we may have done too good a job,” said Superintendent Tim Morris at hardest-hit Parchman Prison. “Now some inmates on the upper tiers are complaining it’s too warm. We’re checking the temperatures every four hours to fill out official unit reports. We’re doing our best to equalize the climate control.”
[photos of inmates clearing roadways]
Temperatures at Parchman are expected to dip below freezing again tonight. The National Weather Service says maybe as low as 13-degrees. All week, inmates pitched in to clear the roadways of ice and snow. Not a single case of hypothermia or chills were recorded at any of the prison infirmaries and no prisoners had to be transported to area hospitals.
MDOC Commissioner Burl Cain credits corrections officers going above and beyond the call of duty by not only staying on the job but also traveling in all-wheel drive vehicles to retrieve other officers and maintenance crews stranded in the ice.
“Our new recruiting,” said Commissioner Cain, “has already begun restoring numbers to our daily shifts but more than that the new push has restored faith to those officers who for so long have been overworked. MDOC is being reinvigorated with a new mission to benefit officers, inmates, and facility crews with better conditions, better food, and better programs. It’s a ‘New Day, New Way and New Pay’ and I’m thankful for so many conscientious MDOC employees still working in all this ice.”
MDOC is back out recruiting Saturday at locations you can find online at mdoc.ms.gov.