The East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) is supposed to take care of mentally ill prisoners, but there is little mental health care available. Many mentally ill prisoners are locked away in solitary confinement cells for a minimum of 23 hours per day for weeks, months and years. The man featured in this video was held in solitary and despite repeated requests for help was left in the cell until he hung himself. They live among rats, human waste and debris from fires lit to get the attention of officers in emergency situations.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander are representing a class of prisoners in a federal lawsuit forcing the Mississippi Department of Corrections to put an end to constitutional and human rights violations at EMCF.