Mississippi prison conditions disputed as trial starts - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi prison conditions disputed as trial starts

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Lawyers for inmates argue that conditions at a Mississippi prison are unconstitutionally abusive, while the state's lawyers say that inmates' complaints don't justify intervention by a federal judge.

Both sides made opening arguments Monday in what could be a six-week trial examining conditions at the privately-run East Mississippi Correctional Facility near Meridian.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center want a federal judge to order improvements at the prison, run by Utah-based Management and Training Corp.

Plaintiffs say medical and mental health care are substandard, the facility is overly violent, too many inmates are locked in solitary confinement, and inmates don't even get nutritious food.

State lawyers say plaintiffs can't prove any of those claims. They say the prison has improved under new contractors.

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