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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Parchman Needs A Superintendent

The Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman needs a new Superintendent. Lawrence Kelly, the former Superintendent, recently retired and left the job up for grabs. Deputy Commissioner E. L. Sparkman, of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, is filling the position temporarily while he interviews potential candidates. Two people who have been interviewed thusfar are James Brewer and Timothy Morris, both longtime employees of the MDOC. Mr. Morris is currently Warden of Unit 32.

It would seem that Mr. Sparkman has yet to find anyone he feels is acceptable to hold the position of Superintendent at MSP. If his actions in recent years are any gauge, Mr. Sparkman will go outside the MDOC and the state to fill this position. The Deputy Commissioner has intimated that he could be at Parchman for awhile; maybe months.

One of the things Mr. Sparkman has done since his return is to make sure the situation with the kitchen improved. Prisoners in Unit 32 were being served their meals on dirty trays, the food was not prepared or handled correctly and was sometimes spoiled, and the food served was not meeting the minimum daily caloric intake required. Mr. Sparkman told Roy Harper, a prisoner at Unit 32, that the food company the MDOC had a contract with would soon change.

Should Deputy Commissioner Sparkman go outside the MDOC and this state in order to find someone to fill the position of Superintendent? Are there no qualified people in Mississippi to hold the position?
What are your thoughts on feeding prisoners?

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  1. from what i can tell, none of our facilities are feeding the guys enough, and I'm sure its not the most healthy meal, I do what i can for my son by ordering books, looking up info and when he ask email downtown. NO , I do not think people already employed by MDOC should move up the ladder at times. I'm sure there may be a few good souls, but they appear to be far and few. I also BELIEVE they should not be related, but as most of the facilites are located way out in the boonies, this happens frequently, I've had the pleasure of meeting a few good souls but have to admit, ALSO met a few that cause me to have to dial up the NICE button many times. I always try to remember, what i do and say can have a detrimental effect on my son.

    thanx again for your info.
    the best is yet to come!

  2. Though we prisoners wouldn't mind getting more food at mealtimes, they do feed "enough" as they define it by counted calories. At WCCF where I'm currently housed, the food is (for the most part) well prepared & served correctly. You just have to eat everything that you're served to get the calories you need. Food is another issue I'll be posting about. But in the meantime, a prisoner can do the following if he has a problem with food services- document everything about the problem, state the exact concern(s) with the food, meal time, the date, and be sure to include their name and DOC #. Put all this in a letter addressed to: Mr. Roger Davis / MPAE / Parchman, MS 38738. No stamp is needed because they can send it as "handmail." I agree that nepotism is a problem in prisons partially because of where they are located. Working as a prison guard isn't the best of jobs, & prisons are usually placed in low-income areas with high minority populations. It's more profitable for the prison industrial complex that way.


About Steven

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Steven Farris is a prisoner who has been incarcerated since a month after his 16th birthday in 1998. Currently serving a life sentence without the possibility for parole, he is seeking to educate the public about the true nature of prison and the widespread and negative effects of the prison industrial complex. Steven has worked with both the National Prison Project of the ACLU, as well as the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in furthering this effort.

You can contact him directly at:
Steven Farris #R5580
P.O. Box 1889
Woodville, MS 39669-1889

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