Febuary 20, 2020 – In Breaking News – The Marshall Project
The attack on Jennifer White came as she started a morning shift at the most dangerous unit at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, the sprawling Delta prison farm here.
Just two officers had been guarding dorms housing more than 250 men. A prisoner charged them at shift’s end, beating them badly.
White arrived in time to blast him with pepper spray. He knocked her to the floor.
White, now 50, says the next few seconds have replayed thousands of times in her mind: the man on top of her, smashing her in the jaw, his eyes full of rage.
The popping feeling in her knee.
It took nine long minutes for help to get there, according to an incident report.
After the 2016 attack, White left Parchman and holed up in her house, away from family, friends and church.
Using a wheelchair while she recovered from her knee injury, she grew so haunted by suicidal and homicidal thoughts that she checked herself into a mental hospital.
“I don’t trust anyone anymore,” she says. “Everybody is a threat to me.”
Violence against and among people incarcerated in Mississippi has become a national scandal.
(As of Jan 10th, in a single week, five people incarcerated in Mississippi jails have died at the hands of other inmates. The deaths have highlighted a system in dire condition, suffering from staffing problems and deteriorating facilities. Courtesy of PBS Newshour and YouTube. Posted on Jan 10, 2020.)
Since Christmas, at least 10 prisoners have been murdered or died by suicide, prompting the U.S. Department of Justice this month to say it will investigate conditions at four of the state’s six large prisons.
But violence against guards is also a scourge of the Mississippi system, an investigation by The Marshall Project found.
Our analysis of state records and hundreds of pages of court documents, along with interviews with more than 30 prison employees, revealed a profoundly dangerous environment for everyone behind bars.
(The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the Mississippi prison system after a string of inmate deaths in the past few months, officials said Wednesday. Courtesy of QuickTake by Bloomberg and YouTube. Posted on Feb 6, 2020.)
Prisoners have attacked guards more than 340 times a year, on average, since 2016, according to our analysis; there were an average of 1,300 guards on the job each year.
They were beaten, stabbed with makeshift knives, sexually assaulted and often “dashed”—prison slang for being doused with urine, feces or hot water—according to state records and interviews.
The state acknowledged that about 115 of these assaults each year caused serious injuries.
Inmates, officers and experts agree about the principal cause of the violence: Mississippi prisons are so short staffed that nobody there is safe.
Continue reading… Mississippi Prisons: No One’s Safe, Not Even the Guards
(Learn More. A recent string of deadly violence in Mississippi prisons has caught national attention. Prison advocates and families have been rallying outside the state capitol since day one of the 2020 legislative session. They are calling on lawmakers to take immediate action saying state inmates’ constitutional rights are being violated. Courtesy of Mississippi Public Broadcasting and YouTube. Posted on Jan 24, 2020.)
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