In August 2018, well before any thought of a pandemic sweeping the country, Mississippi’s prison system saw a spike in inmate deaths. Correctional officials attributed many of these to “natural causes.” But these deaths aren’t the only concerns for inmates and their families. Conditions in some of these prisons – men sleeping five to a cell or the sparse and unappetizing meals they get on a day to day basis or what the showers look like – have come to light through documentation by the inmates themselves. For this episode, Report for America corps member Michelle Liu takes us inside her investigation into these unexplained deaths, why the victims’ families remain in the dark and what life is like inside from the perspective of the imprisoned.
Read Liu’s in-depth report
Cause of death, ‘Undetermined’
Inside Mississippi’s prison deaths
More on inmate rights
Unlocking the vote of Connecticut’s formerly incarcerated
In the episode, we share segments from a Parchman inmate’s online talkshow, you can listen to the two full episodes of OG Bim Bim’s show here:
Listen to previous episodes of On the Ground with Report for America: