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Civil Rights group demands parole for sick and elderly inmates
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Parole for sick and elderly?
Emilian Ettiene

Mississippi has the third-highest incarceration rate nationwide. Some Mississippi prisoners in the MDOC have served over 30 years, prompting Operation Help - a Memphis-based civil rights group - to address parole opportunities. 

Wendol Lee is President of the organization. He says Mississippi's prison system isn't meeting the medical needs inmates while they're behind bars. 

"They're sick, they got kidney problems, they got heart disease, they're bedridden. They can't even get up and move around. They're not getting proper medical attention. They're just laying up dying and dry-rotting, and a lot of them shouldn't even be in there. Some of them have been convicted back in the sixties for stuff like whistling at a white woman," says Lee. 

Lee says he wants those particular inmates out immediately. Members of the State Parole Board are already looking into the current system.

Steve Pickett - Chairman of the State Parole Board - looks forward to working with Operation Help. He says when it comes to parole options, the board is hoping to address end of life and humane issues in the future. 

"Operation Help is a new partner with the Parole Board, as first community input and we welcome that as we do from all victims, proponents, and opponents of parole. We look forward to future discussions pertaining to the interests of Operation Help," Pickett says. 

Pickett says right now, there's not a specific medical facility for inmates. He says that the there is room for improvement. According to Wendol Lee, Operation Help wants to work with the Parole Board, but will conduct a protest next year if their demands are not met.