An investigation is underway after the deaths of two more inmates at a Mississippi prison.
Two inmates were beaten to death Monday night in an altercation with other inmates at Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary. Thirty-five year old Timothy Hudspeth and 36-year old James Talley died from their injuries. Democratic Senator John Horhn of Jackson says he's getting calls from families of inmates concerned about the violence. But he says the legislature has to wait for recommendations from Governor Tate Reeves or the leadership to address issues like funding to hire more guards and increase their low-pay.
"I think this really warrants the new governor, Governor Reeves calling some sort of special session or other drastic measure to put some action in place and very quickly," said Horhn.
The department of correction says the deaths don't appear to be a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings in the prison. Five inmates were killed and others injured in state prisons in recent riots. Three died at Parchman. Also Saturday another inmate was founded hanging in his cell at that facility. House Republican Bill Kinkaid of Byhalia has chaired the Corrections Committee. He recently talked about his concerns.
"Our priority needs to be in our security officers. We need to put more security officers, more trained security officers in these facilities. And unfortunately right now we have a lot of females that are guarding male prisoners and we need to address this. I've stated this numerous times," said Kincaid.
Sixty-five percent of the guards in the prison system are women. Interim Department of Corrections Commissioner Tommy Taylor said in a statement they are working hard to restore and maintain order at Parchman.