Another mother of an inmate previously held at the local county jail comes forward with her concerns over the shortage of manpower and lack of communication following an assault on her son.
The Yazoo County Regional Correctional Facility has made headlines over the last several months with lack of manpower, an outdated security system and growing concerns over a rash of recent assaults among its inmates. The Yazoo Herald was contacted by one mother last week after her son was hospitalized with a spinal cord contusion and puncture, awaiting surgery, after he was stabbed during an assault among inmates.
Another mother, Misuke Harris, has also contacted The Herald regarding her son who she said was also recently hospitalized, following an assault in the facility’s shower area.
Harris said her son was being held at the local county on a burglary charge, and he has not appeared before a judge yet. However, she said that he has since been moved to a Sunflower County correctional facility after the assault, which she said involved other inmates who were related to one another.
Harris said her son was assaulted by three other inmates last month.
“My son was beaten with broom and mop sticks by three inmates, who are related, in an area of the jail where they were all being housed together,” Harris said. “After my own investigation, I learned that the three inmates who assaulted my son were not supposed to be housed in the same area. They were related, and one of the inmates was a state inmate who had already received prison time and was supposed to have been sent off to prison.”
Harris said the state inmate has since been moved to another facility following the assault involving her son. Warden Otis Bailey also confirmed with The Herald that the inmates involved in the assault have been charged in connection with the attack.
“There are several inmates at the local jail who are terrorizing other inmates,” Harris said. “Many of these inmates are family members, and they are being housed in the same zone, which is not right for safety reasons.”
Harris said her son was hospitalized a few days after the assault. But she said his attempts to receive medical attention were first ignored by jail staff.
“My son told me that the guards who are supposed to do rounds of checks do not do them,” Harris said. “One the guards, following his assault, kept telling him to sit down. He was bleeding from the attack, and the guard was ignoring him.”
Harris said when her son was eventually hospitalized, he received nine staples in his head due to the injuries sustained during the assault. She said he has been released from the hospital, but she said his body “feels like it is shutting down.”
“The Yazoo County Regional Correctional Facility is extremely low on staff, which raises an issue of the facility not being able to maintain order, which puts the inmates’ health and safety in danger,” Harris said. “Within the recent month, at least three serious assaults have occurred, which have been swept under the rug. They try to hide the problems of being low on staff to control violence. If that becomes known to the appropriate officials, the facility is prone to be shut down.”
Harris said she wanted The Herald to print her concerns in the hopes that the facility will establish better communication with its inmates and their families, recruit more manpower and update its security systems.
“I was told where the assault happened to my son, the cameras were not even working,” she said. “That is a dangerous situation inside a jail.”
“As a grieving mother, who is concerned over the safety of her son, if anyone has help in regard to this issue, I highly ask that they reach out to me,” she added.
Harris said that she has also hired an attorney regarding the assault on her son.
Bailey has recently appeared before the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors to secure funding for protective gear for his jail guards. He has also expressed concern over an outdated security system, which he said at times will completely shut down.