Three inmate deaths in 48 hours…this comes after violence broke out at the Mississippi State Penitentiary this week.
On January 1st, Walter Earl Gates died from being stabbed after violence broke out in the prison.
On January 2nd, another inmate died after being stabbed multiple times
The Mississippi Department of Corrections said it was in connection to gang related violence.
And on January 3rd, Denorriss Howell died after an altercation with his cell mate. The cell mate was injured and is hospitalized.
The Sunflower County Sheriff said there aren't enough guards.
”Yes under staffing did play a part in this, you know legislatures really need to look into more hiring opportunities and you probably higher wages for prison staff,” he said.
State Senator Derrick Simmons says outgoing Commissioner Pelicia Hall has asked for funding unsuccessfully.
”Commissioner hall has time and time again has come to the legislature for increased funding and her requests were not answered,” he said.
With Tate Reeves getting ready to be sworn in as governor, he will appoint a new commissioner.
”The inmates, the staff and the public is always the primary focus. The legislature does in fact play a role in funding the agency and so what we need is a new commissioner to assess the current system and discover where everything broke down," he said.
Sheriff Haywood said officials have moved inmates to Unit 32 which had been closed.
”But it’s an ideal building because it’s single cell and it’s separation of inmates,” he said.
Bodies of the deceased inmates have been sent to the medical examiner for autopsy.