The Parchman saga continues…after the Mississippi State Penitentiary announced it was moving inmates from Unit 29 to 32 which had been closed for years.
Now one concerned family member has come forward to voice his frustration about the prison conditions and the move to unit 32.
June Thornton of Isola has a son in Parchman and said officials need to see the prison in person to make more informed choices on how to manage the state prisons.
”Instead of just standing outside and listening to what is going on at Parchman, somebody needs to turn around and walk through there, you know what I’m saying. Visit some of these units and listen to some of these inmates and if you turn around and listen to some of these units and actually see what is going on and the condition that they living in, maybe things won’t happen the way it is,” he said.
Sunflower County Sheriff Haywood said Unit 32 used to be used as a maximum security unit and housed some inmates on death row.
It was shut down after complaints from the ACLU arose about the unhealthy isolation inmates had.
Inmates housed in Unit 32 were isolated 23 hours a day and had one hour of recreation time according to Haywood.
Now videos and photos have surfaced of the conditions of Parchman on social media.
Thornton said his son in Unit 32 reports having no running water and having four men to one cell, with inmates sleeping on the floor.
Thornton is a former inmate at Parchman and said the prison doesn’t focus on rehabilitation like it should.
”In Parchman, ain’t nothing up there but suffering that’s all, nothing but some suffering. In the winter time you freeze, summertime it’s so hot you need a box fan if they allow you,” he said.
We have reached out to Parchman officials for comment on the prison conditions and have not received an answer.