Lawmakers look into Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility - - Jackson, MS

Lawmakers look into Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility

By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State lawmakers met with parents and former inmates at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility Tuesday after allegations of mistreatment.

Friends and family of inmates at Walnut Grove packed the capitol committee meeting, sharing stories of abused children, corrupt guards and a broken prison system.  

There were allegations abuse, drugs and prostitution inside the state funded facility.

Attorney's for the Southern Poverty Law Center, who have filed a lawsuit against prison management, documented conditions of inmates during a recent visit.

"The evidence of physical violence and abuse is evident by the fresh cuts scars and bruises that cover the bodies of these young men from head to toe, one in particular could not count the number of times he had been stabbed," Attorney Jody Owens said.

Former prisoners say conditions at walnut grove are inhumane.

"I've been on lock down for 30 days myself during that time we had 3 showers tops," said former inmate Justin Bolin.

Critics of the Walnut Grove also made allegations that guards were smuggling drugs and contraband into the facility, and that education programs were often canceled because of the bad behavior of a few.

"We will be looking to issue a subpoena to have these people come before this committee and tell this legislature what is going on at Walnut Grove,"said Committee Chairman Rep. Earle Banks

The U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating the facility.

Members of the Walnut Grove Correctional Authority and the Geo-Group which runs the prison, did not attend the meeting.

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