Area pastors say prison reform long overdue in Mississippi

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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Pastors from across Northeast Mississippi outlined a list of prison reforms they said is long overdue.

Monday, Pastor Jeffrey Gladney was joined by other ministers and family members with loved ones in Parchman for a news conference highlighting the need for prison reforms.

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Doctor Gladney said several families in his church have loved ones in Parchman, which has experienced deaths, and other acts of violence in the past month.

The group outlined several requested reforms including shutting down Parchman, putting nonviolent offenders on probation, and examining sentences for those in jail because of drug abuse, or crimes related to drug abuse.

The group also asked that money saved from reducing the prison population be redirected to rehab programs.

“We would hope this would make enough of an impact that something would be done about the conditions in Parchman, nothing short of those inmates being moved to better conditions, going against the eighth amendment of the Constitution of cruel and unusual punishment, we want anyone in jail to be treated fairly,” said Dr. Gladney.

Pastor Gladney also encouraged the governor and lawmakers to consider passing House Bill 585, which he said addressed the prison crisis.

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