Saturday, January 26, 2019

MDOC Lockdown

The Mississippi Department of Corrections issued the following statement. 


A large section of the prison in south Mississippi is on lock down, and visitation and other privileges are canceled indefinitely because of a severe shortage of correctional officers.


The Mississippi Department of Corrections is experiencing a staffing crisis in the three state prisons at the same time the facilities are near capacity. The shortage is most acute at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) in Leakesville. The prison’s population today is 3,051 inmates, just 31 inmates short of its capacity, and the staff vacancy rate is 48 percent.

Movement is restricted in Area II, where as many as 1,836 incarcerated persons are housed. Normal operations are in Area I and Area III.

“As I said at a Senate Corrections Committee hearing last week, we are operating in a pressure cooker type situation right now,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “I’m going to need the Legislature’s help to improve our current conditions. Until that happens, my administration is going to do all that it can for the safety of staff and the people in our custody and control.”

“If that means utilizing lockdown also at the other two prisons where we also have severe understaffing, we will do that,” Commissioner Hall continued. “The safety of our facilities and the public is first and foremost.”

Commissioner Hall has told lawmakers that the agency needs their help to address staffing. Specifically, she is seeking a pay realignment at a cost of $7.1 million to bring the entry-level salary up from $24,903 to the range of $28,000 to $31,000 for correctional officers.

“I think that is a small price to pay for the sake of public safety,” Commissioner Hall said, echoing what she has told lawmakers multiple times.

The agency has an aggressive hiring campaign under way, but the low pay, coupled with the dangerous nature of the work, has made it difficult to attract more people, especially more men, as correctional officers, Commissioner Hall said. The correctional staff is currently more than 65 percent female.

The vacancy rate at the other two prisons is as follows: 46 percent at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) in Rankin County and 42 percent at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman (MSP). The department currently has 671 security staff vacancies.


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cut the legislature's membership in half and give the correctional officersthe savings.

Anonymous said...

Fund MDOC with that Epps claw-back money.

Anonymous said...

Interesting (or not) that she waits until the legislature is in session to invoke this measure. Why no lockdown three months ago? Seven months ago?

Anonymous said...

Legislature needs to fix state employee pay. In prior years they have cut budgets which caused a reduction in positions. So now, with a thin workforce...give them a realignment.

Notes From Pluto said...

The State Personnel Board has made tepid stabs at realignment over the years; just top-water moves that involved only a very few positions. The legislature will never approve total realignment - That would mean aligning employees with comparable jobs in this state and surrounding states. But in the meantime, why won't they 'realign' the salary of the State Superintendents of Education with surrounding states or any other state in this nation?

Anonymous said...

Lock the damn jails down...who cares? Don’t waste more taxpayer dollars for visitation. Let them have visitors twice a year. Put all prisoners on hard labor. Make all prisoners work, grow their own food, etc. I know our state has the lowest graduation rates, highest illiteracy, etc., but am I the only one who knows this is a solution? Damn we have a bunch of idiots in our elected offices. Drain the swamp!

Anonymous said...

Does that mean those prisoners who are having a night out on the town will have to return?

Anonymous said...

9:06 - awesome idea...fix a recurring issue with one time money, you should run for office or something!

Anonymous said...

Send them all to Devils Island....I bet that after a year or two they will come back acting like they should. I don’t like France’s poloitics but they did have a good idea with using devils island. We did to with Alcatraz, but, liberals...ya know the rest

Anonymous said...

Wow, at $24K per year its no wonder that COs smuggle contraband for inmates. I can only imagine what they have to put up with on a daily basis; I also agree that inmates should pay - literally - their debt to society by providing services to the public when possible. How about putting together a few crews to fix the roads and bridges in the state, maintain facilities and equipment, etc. They should also make their own clothes, grow their own food and print all of the state's publications.... Then, once the inmates are eligible for release they have a marketable skill, instead of sitting around for years learning to be better criminals.

Anonymous said...

Lock them down, I could care less. Then maybe some won’t come back to your prison!

Anonymous said...

2:52, you could care less, or could not care less? Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

@11:08 AM - You are right. The money should probably be used to build a world class football stadium, remodel the governor's mansion, luxury trips to Europe for all legislators, and maybe a governor's summer home on Martha's Vineyard. Heck, go big and buy a Gulfstream 650 jet for the governor. Yea, that's the ticket.

What was I thinking?

Anonymous said...

Lockdown doesn’t mean shit. You are already in prison.
NEXT!

Anonymous said...

8:28 - now you're thinking....this is FOUND money, let's do something FUN with it!

OR, we could do the responsible thing and rehab Walnut Grove for about $1 Million (rather than paying $21 Million to rehab Unit 29), and use the remainder for much needed technology upgrades for the whole inventory of prisons in the state.

Anonymous said...

@ Notes From Pluto said...

SPB can give the data, but it falls on the state legislature to do something with that data. Once again that sh*t falls on Little Lord Fauntleroy a.k.a Triple Tater Thot Maximus not letting realignment make it out of committee. Phil Bryant's backwood butt didn't push for realignment for state workers either until it was too late and making it to a second term.

The amount of sh*t those two have f*cked up in the last 8 years for every day Mississippians is astronomical. Bryant padded his war chest before he exits stage right and Reeves is plotting and planning to pull the same snow job.



Anonymous said...

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster

"To those in the schools and our state employees. I’m with you. Hours worked isn’t always indicative of performance. That’s why, if hired, I will help run state government like a business, where you will be competitively compensated for your performance, not time spent in a chair.

https://twitter.com/RobertFoster4MS/status/1090013435788754944?s=20

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