MDOC: Death rates in Mississippi prisons on the decline - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MDOC: Death rates in Mississippi prisons on the decline

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

The death rate in Mississippi prison's is on a downward trend. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the morality rate has dropped 41 percent, from 441 deaths per 1,000 inmates in 2007 to 260 deaths in 2012.

The BJS says most inmates deaths result from heart disease and cancer. Although those are natural causes, the bureau says they should not go overlooked in the examination. Right now the Mississippi Department of Corrections has 3,693 inmates suffering from cancer or some sort of cardiovascular ailment.

"Generally speaking, our prisoners' health reflects what you will find true about the Mississippi population in general," Commissioner Christopher Epps said. "We have a lot of prisoners with health-related problems. But a recent Clarion-Ledger article about inmates dying in our custody fails to explore that aspect."

Epps says less than seven percent of deaths in Mississippi prisons are linked to violence or suicide.

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