Thursday, May 28, 2015

MDOC claims inmate was on the loose at work center

MDOC issued the following press release:


JACKSON   - The Mississippi Department of Corrections has removed an additional inmate from the custody of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department after receiving allegations that the convicted murderer was allowed to take a county vehicle home for overnight stays, was paid to work on personal vehicles, and ran personal errands.

Jerry Mack, 49, who also is serving time for aggravated assault and cocaine possession, was changing out of free world clothing into his MDOC green and white issued-uniform when corrections officials arrived Wednesday afternoon to transport him to Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) in Rankin County. He had $435 in his pocket, a cell phone and a valid driver’s license. A knife and a box cutter were in plain view.

“This inmate obviously was not being supervised to MDOC standard based solely on the contraband found in his possession and where he was found,” Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher said.  “This inmate should not have been outside of a secured perimeter. Instead, we found him in a barn which is located outside a fence.” 

Mack, Inmate #57808, brings to 42 the number of inmates removed from Hinds County. The other 41, all part of the Joint State County Work Programs (JSCWP), were returned to MDOC custody Tuesday as a result of a U.S. Department of Justice report about its investigation of the conditions at the Hinds County Detention Center. The Justice Department found that the county violates the Eighth and 14th Amendments including by failing to keep prisoners safe from violence. The report dated May 21 to county officials states “the term ‘prisoners’ refers to all individuals housed at the jail.”

“While MDOC’s original target date was Aug. 1 to remove all inmates in JSCWP statewide, upon learning of the findings of the DOJ investigation, we felt compelled to act immediately in Hinds County,” Fisher said Thursday.

MDOC officials returned to the jail at Raymond on Wednesday after receiving a tip about Mack being allowed to come and go in violation of rules for jail support workers.

“In a weekly timeframe, I normally run by my house twice a week. I try to sleep at my house twice a month,” Mack told investigators. “When I was away from the HSO Farm, the dispatcher at the HSO Farm would call my cell phone and tell me where to go. To my knowledge everyone at the HSO Farm was aware that I had a cell phone.”

Mack also alleged he stored his horse at the farm and was paid cash to work on cars, bail hay, clean houses, split wood, gather eggs at locations off prison grounds and do other errands in a county vehicle.

Fisher said an investigation into Mack’s allegations is ongoing. A formal notification of MDOC’s current findings will be provided to county officials in a letter.

Mack was convicted in 1996 in Hinds County of fatally shooting one man and seriously wounding another on Nov. 19, 1994. He received a life sentence for murder, 20 years for aggravated assault and three years for the drug conviction.

“Our mission is public safety, while providing prisoners with a safe environment,” Fisher said. “MDOC intends to continue its mission as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Kingfish note: First question. Why was he even there in the first place? 


Anonymous said...

"The Justice Department found that the county violates the Eighth and 14th Amendments including by failing to keep prisoners safe from violence. "

Keeping prisoners safe from ordinary workers and taxpayers?

Sounds like the priorities of the DOJ are completely bass-ackwards.

Anonymous said...

This reads like something of an Onion article. Un fucking believable.

Anonymous said...

Humane treatment- no cruel and unusual punishment.

You keep the prisoners safe, you keep the guards safe, you keep everyone as safe as possible.

You DO NOT let prisoners run amok with contraband and you sure as hell don't let the staff play errand boy for the prisoners.

Horrible conditions lead to riots, dead prisoners/ staff, and a culture of corruption.

It shouldn't be that hard to comprehend. Keep in mind that because our system is imperfect there are innocent people in jail.

We the people are not criminals, and by not providing humane treatment free from cruel and unusual punishment, we become complicit in the very crimes we seek to punish.

It may sound like a bunch of liberal Heebie jeebie to you, but it isn't. Very basic, actually. We are america, not psuedo communist China.

Anonymous said...

I was going to make a comment but I'm speechless.

Eye Witnessed and Reported said...

I know from personal experience that it is not all that uncommon for municipal and county employees who are 'supervising' one or more inmates (who are supposed to be doing work while supervised), to carry the inmates to meet with family members. This includes picnics, liaisons, shopping visits, home visits, lunch, etc.

Why? You might ask? Let's make a list.

Anonymous said...

Three and a half years of major riots, prisoners running the jail, stupid billboards, pregnant inmates, turkey legs, escapes, prisoner abuse, killings - and excuse after excuse.

Tyrone Lewis, please resign.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's the building's fault that this jailbird was running loose. And you can bet he ain't the only one either. T-bone tyrone has been a joke since he got elected. Keep voting for these morons.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the logic of being locked in a cell except for meals, single shower and 1/2 hour of sunshine. There should be no tv or radio allowed. Prisoner Rights? They lost their rights when they broke the law.

Anonymous said...

Eye Witnessed and Reported, you're very much correct! If you've worked in the "system" you know that inmate fraternizing is NOTHING new and it's actually encouraged so to speak, at least on the State level is what I can speak on. Regularly, our "A" custody inmates had access to "free world" items, food, etc., and you'd wonder how they'd got them. Inmate clerks were or are often given perks/favors for typing up reports, and performing any other clerical duties. I was actually quite shocked when I found how some inmates just really had carved out a "good" life for themselves. Don't get me wrong, if they want to work ON THE GROUNDS, by all means, but their access to the "free world" from my own experience, told me why that revolving door to prison was indeed a revolving door and that prison, being confined and locked away, just wasn't the deterrent average citizens believed it to be.

Anonymous said...

Tyrone will be elected to a second term, the voters of Hinds are not smart enough to realize this guy is not it. They will see the billboards and stuff and be led to vote for him. SHEEP

Anonymous said...

Stereotypical Mississippi good ol' boy Chris Picou is the lynchpin. Worked with him for many years, and always made sure to count my fingers after I shook his hand.

Anonymous said...

So @2:21 PM, how many fingers do you have remaining?

Anonymous said...

I don't think this started with Tyrone Lewis' term in office!

It takes more than three years to set up this level of organized corruption in a system!

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