PATSY BRUMFIELD: Cold news for state’s prisoners

PATSY BRUMFIELD

PATSY BRUMFIELD

Christmas season is a time of joy for so many of us.

Of course, a lot of folks aren’t so fortunate, especially the prisoners in our state facilities.

Naturally, being in prison is not a good thing. It is punishment, although sometimes it may look like too much punishment.

All cases are not the same, I know.

One small but important joy for some of these prisoners has been a program they call “conjugal visits,” through which for good behavior, certain prisoners can have regular, private visits from their spouses.

They only have an hour and it’s hardly the Beau Rivage, but it is what it is and certainly you’ve got to figure that they are happy for the fellowship.

Years ago, I had a friend who worked in the Mississippi prison system and he told me about one female prisoner, who’d been married 13 times.

She was incarcerated for killing her 11th husband.

Yes, she’d been married twice while incarcerated. That seems a little difficult, but somehow, she managed.

I don’t know what happened to this misguided woman, but she apparently admitted to convincing her latest-at-the-time husband to take out a small life insurance policy, for which she was the beneficiary.

Then, she proceeded to exercise such vigorous “conjugal visits” that the poor man died of a heart attack.

From what I heard, the pair claimed to take great interest in traveling and hiking through the American wilderness, even though they’d never set foot outside a prison as a married couple.

Fact is stranger than fiction.

These prisoners obviously look forward to holiday visits with their loved one.

But this week, Corrections chief Chris Epps announced – for budgetary reasons – these private visits will cease Dec. 31.

So much for a Happy New Year!

He insists that for the very few prisoners eligible for these visits, it’s just costing too much staff time.

From the side view, Epps is getting ahead of at least one legislator, who planned to try to shut down the visits.

The solon voiced strong feelings about pregnancies from these little rendezvous, despite the MDOC’s best efforts at birth control.

Experts say that if we’d spend a little more up front and ensure solid educational experiences for all our kids, fewer of them would wind up in trouble.

Turns out that we’re spending more on prisons that we do on fulfilling our community responsibilities to help raise up all our kids.

There’s a moral there. We should talk about this some more.

In the meantime, these state prisoners are finding coal in their Christmas stockings instead of that “visit” reward.

No more chestnuts roasting on an open fire, at state expense.

Patsy R. Brumfield writes aThursday column. Contact her at patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com or(662) 678-1596. Check out her recipes on her “Southfacin’ Cook” blog @www.newinnola.com or follow heron Twitter @Realnewsqueen.