Thursday, February 18, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Days of freezing temperatures caused heating and cooking problems in some Mississippi prisons this week, Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain said.
A boiler malfunctioned in one unit at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, affecting heating, he said in a news release. Prison staff distributed blankets and thermal underwear, and about 20 inmates were moved to another area while repairs were made, he said.
A water line broke at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, but it was fixed and meals are being served, he said. A natural gas line froze at the privately run Marshall County Correctional Facility, shutting down a kitchen, but workers grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages for the inmates, who also got cold cuts, chips and fruit.
“Our superintendents, wardens and officers went above and beyond the call of duty by driving all-wheel-drive vehicles to bring officers to work over icy roads with no mishaps,” Cain said.
Several Mississippi lawmakers, including Democratic Reps. John Hines of Greenville and Sonya Williams Barnes of Gulfport, said people with loved ones in prisons had contacted them with concerns about conditions during the prolonged period of freezing temperatures.