Adams County Correctional Center, Mississippi
July 9-11, 2019

Several detainees at the Adams County Correctional Center participated in a hunger strike in protest of conditions at the facility. According to Clarion Ledger, the detainee who began the hunger strike was an electrician working and living in Jackson for the last 13 years. The newspaper spoke with his daughter under conditions of anonymity.

The Clarion Ledger reported: 

“The daughter, who asked to be identified only as Maria, said she has spoken twice with her father. After one minute, the line disconnects. He told her ‘things are really bad in here,’ she said. He told her others need medical attention and they need soap, toothpaste and shampoo. His commissary money from the previous facilities hasn’t yet been transferred and he has no money to buy essentials. He told her he and the other detainees decided to ‘unite’ and go on a hunger strike.”

The Adams County Correctional Center is a private prison owned and operated by CoreCivic and under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The facility began housing immigrant detainees in June, 2019 as its contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons is set to expire at the end of July, 2019.

ICE Spokesperson Bryan Cox stated that as of the afternoon of Thursday, July 12, there were no detainees refusing meals at the facility. ICE does not recognize a hunger strike until it passes the nine meal threshold.

Mother Jones reported that the Adams County Correctional Center is one of three new facilities that ICE quietly opened in recent weeks in the deep south. The other two facilities are the Catahoula Correctional Center, a Louisiana jail run by LaSalle Corrections; and the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center, run by GEO Group in Basile, Louisiana.

In May, 2012, federal prisoners at the Adams County Correctional Facility engaged in a major uprising involving hundreds of prisoners, an estimated $1.3 million in damage, the death of one prison guard and injuries to twenty others.

(Updated 7/18/19)

Citations:

‘Things are really bad’: ICE detainees reportedly on hunger strike at Mississippi prison“, Clarion Ledger, July 10, 2019.

ICE detainees reportedly start hunger protest,The Natchez Democrat, July 11, 2019.

ICE will now house detainees in a second Mississippi prison“, Daily Journal, July 11 ,2019.

Official: Seven detainees in Ferriday on hunger strike“, The Natchez Democrat, July 12, 2019.

Background:

Uprising at Adams County Correctional Facility, Mississippi“, Perilous, May 21, 2012.

ICE Just Quietly Opened Three New Detention Centers, Flouting Congress’ Limits“, Mother Jones, July 9, 2019.