At East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF), inmates are sometimes forced to set fires to get attention if they’re sick or if a pipe bursts, reports Mother Jones. Inmates usually set old carts or trash on fire so as to avoid waiting days for medical care.
According to a class action lawsuit filed by inmates at EMCF, a private prison that houses mentally ill inmates, the fires sometimes get the guard’s attention, but more often than not, the facility looks more like a war era detention center than a prison.
From Mother Jones:
Alongside claims of rap*s, beatings, and inadequate medical care, you’ll read about vermin, prisoners defecat!ng in styrofoam cups because nobody fixed their toilets, a dead man walking (so to speak), and a “ping-pong” toilet where feces mysteriously appears after toilets in nearby cells are flushed.
The lawsuit contains detailed examples of inmates being abused by staff. In one example, an inmate who hanged himself was cut down, but never allowed to see a psychiatrist or taken to an emergency room. He was only cut down and given oxygen. That same inmate says the light is always on in his cell and mice crawl out of his toilet at night.
Another 16 year old inmate who is severely mentally ill, and who appears young, has allegedly been s*xually abused and suffered a traumatic brain injury while at the prison. The teen was housed in a cell without a lock door where older inmates would enter and abuse him.
Yest another prisoner threatened to commit suicide, but guards only maced him. After he was later found dead in his cell, guards continued to keep a log where they wrote that the dead prisoner was in “good health” days after he’d been found dead.
Surveillance video also shows guards putting 10 rival prisoners in a room where a fight erupted. The officers can be seen laughing and offering instructions to the inmates.