Category: In-Depth

In-Depth

Teenagers Drawing ‘Virtual Death Sentences’ Behind Bars Without Killing Anyone

Pritchett is one of 370 Mississippi inmates serving virtual life sentences, meaning they are on the inside for 50 years or more. Of those “virtual lifers,” 22 were juveniles like him when they committed the crimes that led to their incarceration, as a recently released national report “No End in Sight: America’s Enduring Reliance on Life in Prison” by The Sentencing Project revealed. In addition, Mississippi has 2,041 incarcerated people serving life sentences, with 1,600 of them serving life with parole, Mississippi Department of Corrections data show.

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In-Depth

Systemic Racism Built Mississippi. Gov. Reeves Says It Doesn’t Exist.

On the penultimate day of the Confederate Heritage Month, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves made a bold declaration: “There is not systemic racism in America.” The announcement, if it were true, could come as a relief to the 38% of Mississippians who are Black. But around 16% of those residents will not have the opportunity to express their gratitude to the governor in the next election because they are systematically disenfranchised due to an 1890 Jim Crow felony voting law.

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Mississippi Old Capitol building
In-Depth

Under the Surface, Part 3: A Water Crisis Amid A Legacy In Decline

The reaction to integration, which included white Jackson families immediately pulling 5,000 of their children out of local schools, was but one piece of the water-infrastructure puzzle. Another came in 1972, an unintended consequence of necessary environmental reform. That year, the Water Pollution Control Act steamrolled through a veto from President Richard Nixon. Few took notice.

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Baby and mother's hand
In-Depth

Disrupted Care: Mississippi Legislature Kills Postpartum Medicaid Extension, Affecting 25,000 Mothers Yearly

The nearly 25,000 Mississippians who use Medicaid health insurance to cover pregnancy will continue to lose their health benefits just 60 days after birth, after a proposed extension fell casualty to a long session of gamesmanship over control of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid. Dr. Charlene Collier, OB-GYN and director of the Mississippi Maternal Mortality Committee, says the 60-day Medicaid cutoff is illogical at best, and deadly at worst. 

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Overhead view of OB Curtis Water Plant
In-Depth

Under The Surface, Part 2: After Jackson Freeze, the Fog of War

It was Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, when it all went wrong at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant. Dr. Charles Williams, public works director for the City of Jackson, could see the writing on the wall. “We started losing system pressure. Everything bottomed out. We had to figure out why,” he says now. A war, of sorts, lay ahead.

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