The Latest: Attorneys defend Mississippi prison conditions
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a federal trial over conditions at a privately run prison in Mississippi (all times local):
Attorneys for the state of Mississippi are defending the conditions and treatment of inmates at a privately run prison there.
The attorneys gave their closing arguments Monday in a trial over whether the conditions at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility are constitutional. The attorneys for the state defended the facility against claims that guards excessively used solitary confinement and said coloring books and timeout doesn’t work for criminals.
The prison is operated under a contract with the Utah-based Management and Training Corps. Attorneys for the state say the civil rights groups suing on behalf of the 1,200 inmates are trying to litigate the company out of business.
Two civil rights groups suing the state of Mississippi over conditions at a privately run prison say it is unsanitary and excessively violent.
Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center gave closing arguments Monday in the trial over conditions at East Mississippi Correctional Facility. They say the facility deprives inmates of protection from harm, proper nutrition and adequate medical and mental health care.
The groups sued on behalf of the 1,200 inmates there. The majority of them have a mental health diagnosis.
The groups say the Mississippi Department of Corrections has been aware of the conditions and done nothing to solve them.
The state’s lawyers say the prison conditions are acceptable, and many of the prisoners’ problems are self-inflicted. They will soon give their closing arguments.
The prison is operated under a contract with the Utah-based Management and Training Corps.
Closing arguments are set in a federal trial in which inmates say they live in unsanitary and excessively violent conditions in a Mississippi prison.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center argue the conditions at East Mississippi Correctional Facility are unconstitutionally abusive. The state’s lawyers say the prison conditions are acceptable, and many of the prisoners’ problems are self-inflicted.
Closing arguments are expected Monday.
The state prison is operated privately under a contract with the Utah-based Management and Training Corps.
Inmates have testified to U.S. District Judge William Barbour Jr. that they live in poor conditions with inadequate health care.
Warden Frank Shaw has testified that the prison followed state and company protocol and the facility has no worse conditions than other correctional facilities.