Subject: Grant the right to rehabilitation program for Mississippi Death Row offenders
Mr. (see names below)
In 2007, Mississippi Commissioner of Corrections, Mr. Christopher Epps, created a rehabilitation program to curb the violence in Mississippi prisons, specifically in Unit 32 at Parchman.
Under the direction of then Superintendent Mr.Emmit Sparkman (now Det. Comm.) The two created the high-risk incentive tier program, and it has proven to be a valuable tool for improving the quality of life for the offenders that have participated, as Mr. Epps stated in a interview. They were able to reduce violence, and ultimately the offender population from 1,000 to 300 high-risk offenders, eventually closing Unit 32 in December 2010.
What was failed to mention is that under this program and policy, Death Row offenders are classified to participate, but are being excluded. There are not any differences between DR and state offenders classified as high-risk. They are under the very same guidelines, policies, rules, and regulations. It appears the only difference is that Mr. Epps, and Sparkman are under the impression the men on DR are not worthy of a better quality of life.
You seem to think DR offenders don't deserve the opportunity to broaden their minds and better their health; they are forced to sit inside cages, while their minds and bodies deteriorate. You seem to believe DR offenders are of a higher risk, because you house the high-risk state offenders in the very same building.
On June 13 2012, the majority of DR offenders wrote to officials and requested that they expand their high-risk incentive program. They did this, because the administration already use DR offenders as tier workers for the sole purpose of sanitation. Only three tier workers are allowed at any given time. What is bad, is that even the three tier workers are even discriminated against. These men are not allowed any of the incentives that should come with being a part of the program. The only incentive DR are offered is a piece of "steak" if they are good for six months to a year.
Regardless of what any have done to be on DR, regardless of your position on the death penalty, regardless of your faith; those offenders ARE PEOPLE. It has been proven repeatedly that some of them will not remain on DR and a percentage of them will be re-sentenced to life in prison or exonerated and set free.
With that fact in mind, it is reasonable to ask: Why are they being discriminated against and punished as their social faculties and health deteriorate. There is no productive, positive programs for DR, because someone choose not to include them in anything, but classification with the high-risk offenders.
On June 13 2012, they asked DR offenders are required to follow and abide by all rules and regulations that the high-risk state offenders are suppose to follow. They were told to "act" human, while being treated less than animals would. The animal rights organizations would be appalled at their treatment, if they were animals.
Why not people?
Their adherence to the rules, their non-violent stance, their mutual respect for guards and officials are without a doubt a proven fact officials continue to ignore.
For all these reasons, I respectfully urge you to grant the right to rehabilitation programs for Mississippi Death Row offenders.
Name and full address
Please, send the previous letter to:
CHRISTOPHER B. EPPS, COMMISSIONER
723 N. President Street Jackson, Ms. 38738
Phone number: (601) 359-5600
EMMITT L. SPARKMAN DEPUTY COMMISSIONER (INSTITUTIONS)
723 N. Pesident Street Jackson, Ms. 38738
Phone number: (601) 359-5610
Earnest Lee Superintendent (MSP)
P.O. Box 1057 Parchman, Ms. 38738
Phone number: (662)745-6611