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Mississippi State Penitentiary names new Superintendent

Marshal Turner. Photo Courtesy MDOC

Mississippi’s oldest prison has its new superintendent. Marshal Turner has been named superintendent of Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. The 18,000 square foot prison in Sunflower County houses all of the male death row inmates in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections issued the following press release with the announcement:

Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall today announced the appointment of Marshal Turner as superintendent of Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) at Parchman.

Turner, who was serving on an interim basis, succeeds Earnest Lee, who retired Sept. 15.

“Supt. Turner has climbed the ranks within the MDOC and brings with him a record of leadership that will serve our state well in guiding our correctional officers and staff,” Commissioner Hall said. “Also, he is familiar with Parchman in that he once worked there for two years as a deputy warden.”

Turner, who has more than 13 years of service in corrections, previously served as a warden at South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) in Leakesville. He started as a correctional officer at a prison in Nashville, Tenn., before arriving at SMCI in November 2002 in the same position. He later became a correctional supervisor and then a commander. In September 2012, he moved to Parchman as a deputy warden for nearly two years before returning to SMCI to serve as a warden.

“I am honored to accept the appointment,” Turner said. “I have enjoyed a wonderful career with MDOC as an officer, lieutenant, captain, deputy warden and warden. My drive and the way I deal with the everyday stresses of corrections is focusing on ‘No excuses, just solutions’ and ‘I must make it happen.’ ”

Turner, an Alabama native, attended Rasmussen College in Ocala, Fla. He is a U.S. Army veteran, with the rank of sergeant. He also is the 2017-2018 president of the Mississippi Association of Professionals in Corrections.

MSP is the state’s oldest prison. It sits on 18,000 acres in Sunflower County and is the sole location for male death row inmates. The inmate population today is 3,277; the prison can hold up to 3,590 inmates.

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