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Parchman regains full national accreditation after nearly a decade

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) at Parchman has regained full national accreditation following testing by the American Correctional Association (ACA).

Founded in 1870, ACA is the country’s foremost monitor of prison conditions and operations with an emphasis on inmate living conditions, officer training, and safety inside prisons.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said MSP Superintendent Marcus McClure. “We have worked night and day to quickly renovate and repair Parchman’s aging facilities, to improve all living conditions for inmates and staff alike, to improve our food and medical care, and make Parchman more about personal development and improvement.”

An ACA team of corrections experts from around the country spent days inspecting all areas of the prison and found improvements in the following categories:

  • Physical conditions of all facilities
  • Security and safety of staff and inmates
  • Staff morale
  • Data management
  • General functioning

“We have to give credit to Governor Reeves, the Legislative Corrections Committee, and state lawmakers for providing the necessary funds for ongoing improvements as well as recruiting,” MDOC Commissioner Burl Cain said. “The cleaner and safer our prisons are, the easier it will be to recruit more qualified and seasoned staff and retain them. This award, after nine years, is proof we are making improvements at Parchman and at all of our facilities.”

The new accreditation joins last week’s dismissal of a lawsuit against MDOC and Parchman Prison related to conditions at the facility. A few days later, a historic marker was unveiled at the front gate of MSP commemorating the Freedom Riders who were jailed at Parchman in 1961.

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