(MSGOVERNOR’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE) – Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced a majorprisoner transfer from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman’sinfamous Unit 29. He announced that the last inmates from Unit 29’s majorhousing facilities will be removed through this new agreement—fulfilling thepromise from his State of the State Address to close Unit 29.
Inmateshave been transferred from the unit through reclassification and exchanges forlower-security inmates since the Governor indicated his intention to removethem from the troubled unit. This major transfer deal allows the remaininginmates to be transferred to the nearby Tallahatchie County CorrectionalFacility.
375inmates were transferred there during the initial surge of violence, and theseremaining prisoners will be transported in the coming weeks. The physicaltransfer began this morning. This is a temporary housing solution to quicklyand safely remove inmates from the environment at Unit 29 of Parchman, while along-term solution is identified.
“Wealso need to remember why we’re doing all of this. We need a Department ofCorrections that corrects criminal behavior. We need a department that preventsfuture violence or crimes. We don’t want anyone who leaves this system toreturn. We want them to go on to lead lives of purpose, meaning, and dignity,”said Governor Tate Reeves at a press conference to update the public on hisefforts to reform the department. “Justice must be our focus—for allMississippians. We have never forgotten that during our work to restore order,and it will be an ongoing effort throughout our time in office.”
TheReeves administration renegotiated the price for housing, achieving a nearly 5%reduction in the cost per prisoner. The inmates will now be housed at a rate of$62.50/day compared to the previous $65/day rate. Only death row—which isrequired by law to remain on the premises—and a support services building whichhelps maintain the rest of the prison will remain in operation.
The Governor also updated the public on efforts to rein in misspending at the department, find a permanent solution to the management crisis, reduce the prison population, and preventing recidivism.