ⓘ South Mississippi Correctional Institution is a Mississippi Department of Corrections prison for men located in unincorporated Greene County, near Leakesville. ..

                                     

ⓘ South Mississippi Correctional Institution

South Mississippi Correctional Institution is a Mississippi Department of Corrections prison for men located in unincorporated Greene County, near Leakesville. The facility has 360 acres of land.

                                     

1. History

Dedication ceremonies were scheduled for April 1989, and the moving in of the first 25 inmates was scheduled to occur on April 17, 1989. The prison opened on April 13, 1990, with an initial capacity of 516 prisoners. It was designed by Dale and Associates. In 2001 the groundbreaking for a new chapel occurred.

                                     

2. Demographics

As of September 1, 2008, South Mississippi Correctional Institution, with a capacity of 3.204, had 3.106 prisoners, making up a total of 21.57% of people within the Mississippi Department of Corrections-operated prisons, county jails, and community work centers. Of the inmates at SMCI, all of whom are male, 2.088 are Black, 962 are White, 45 are Hispanic, nine are Asian, and two are Native American.

                                     

3. Operations

In the late 2010s SMCI faced a combination of severe budget cuts, low levels of enforcement officer staffing, and conditions dangerous to staff and prisoners. State senator and Leaksville native Dennis DeBar drew a direct connection between the prisons staff vacancy rate of just under 50% -- half of its necessary jobs filled - and the offered starting salary of $25.000 per year. An investigation by the state Attorney Generals office into the escape of a felon inmate named Michael Wilson in July 2018 found that SMCI was hampered from communicating or coordinating with other agencies, posing risk to public safety. The prison had no apparent command structure, did not use expected radio frequencies, was not aware of the inmates absence for two hours while he interacted with Leaksville citizens, and did not share information about the inmates prior escape and prior destination. That might have caused his re-capture sooner, because Wilson traveled the same way.

Some MDOC farming operations occur at SMCI.

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