State: Lift consent decree at Parchman prison

JACKSON — Officials at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman are asking a federal judge to release them from a consent decree that forced changes at a 1,000-inmate unit at the prison.

A series of incidents two years ago at the prison’s “Unit 32″ — including three homicides and a suicide — led to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and a series of reforms.

Now that the reforms are in place, Leonard Vincent, a state corrections department attorney, said the prison wants the court order lifted.

The ACLU has asked the court’s order to stay in place for two areas: medical and mental health care.

The Associated Press