Sending strength and love to all Mississippi prisoners. I stand with you. The metalanguage of prison is violence so the only way to eliminate the violence is to eliminate the prison. In every prison and jail in the country, correctional officers are the major instigators and perpetrators of violence. Every order is punctuated with the understanding that acquiescence is demanded or a beat down is coming, no matter how ridiculous or dangerous the order is to the prisoners health and safety.
Former Governor Haley Barbour spoke the truth when he said overcrowding is the major issue. The violence has nothing to do with officers’ pay rate. More cops never equals more safety. We see this everyday in free society. When has more cops created more safety? All we get with more cops is more arrests and more violence. The same applies to the prison.
In Bell v. Wolfish, the SCOTUS, okayed double-celling. Prisoners and their supporters argued against double-celling, citing safety and health issues. Prison officials were all for double-celling as it increased their population capacity. Now, we are seeing just what that ruling has brought us. This past week in PA, at SCI-Fayette, a prisoner died after a cell fight. Double celling is a problem. The administration does not consider prisoner safety when double celling, often housing gang rivals in the same cell. Queer/trans prisoners often find themselves housed within people hostile to their existence.
To end violence in prisons, we need to end prisons. There is no other way to make prison, an inherently violent site, safe for humans.