The Department of Justice, on February 5th, announced that it would be opening a civil rights investigation into Mississippi’s state penitentiary system. A series of riots, protests, and deaths that have taken place in Mississippi’s prisons have prompted the investigation. According to news reports, a total of 15 inmates have died and 29 prison employees were assaulted during the same time period. While most of the deaths have been gang related, officials reported that a couple of the deaths were suicides. The investigation will focus on the conditions of four prisons, one of which is funded by the state, but run by private contractor. Prison reform advocates were reported to have been “relieved” to hear about the department’s investigation, however, they stated that they remain cautious due to the Trump administration’s pattern of handling civil rights violations.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: What factors do you think have contributed to the deterioration of the conditions within the Mississippi state penitentiary system?
- Debate: The Eighth Amendment rights of the prisoners within the Mississippi state penitentiary system are being violated.
- Poll: Do you agree that the conditions in Mississippi’s prisons should be investigated by the Department of Justice?
- Short Answer: What prompted the Department of Justice to begin investigating the conditions within the Mississippi state penitentiary system?
Featured Image: Photo of Parchman Prison Gate by WhisperToMe, licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain