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Fri, Sept. 14: Epps on HIV/AIDS

Air date 09/14/12

1 - A Mississippi Department of Corrections program geared toward inmates with HIV and AIDS is gaining national attention. the Mississippi Discharge Planning Manual is being touted by the US Department of Health and Human Services as an example to be followed by other corrections agencies.  Chris Epps is Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He tells MPB's Ezra Wall HIV/AIDS has been a concern ever since he became commissioner.

2 - Civil rights groups are calling for the closure of private prisons that mainly hold undocumented immigrants, including a facility in Adams County that was the site of a deadly riot this spring. Since 2005, the federal government has charged people re-entering the country illegally with felonies and holds them for 1 to five years before deportation.
Judy Green with the prison reform group Justice Strategies says that has lead to over crowding and poor treatment of prisoners - conditions that contributed to the May riot in Adam County that left a guard dead. Angelica Moreno's brother - Juan Villanueva - was an inmate at the Adams County facility. Moreno claims her brother was denied essential medical care that could have prevented his death by cancer. She spoke with MPB's Jeffrey Hess.

  • CCA Statement: "It’s hard to understand why these groups would spend so much time, effort and money attacking a company that provides such a vital public service by housing inmates safely and humanely at a savings to taxpayers. Private corrections is one of a number of solutions being implemented by our government partners in an effort to ease overcrowding, reduce taxpayer costs and provide meaningful inmate programs to reduce recidivism. At CCA, we’re proud that we help over 3,000 inmates earn GEDs every year, and every day we teach thousands of inmates job skills. We’re the only corrections company ranked by G.I. Jobs magazine as one of America’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers. We also employ over 60 full-time chaplains and founded the Life Principles program, which teaches inmates basic values, anger management and financial responsibility. Unfortunately for the public, they won’t read about these facts and many others like them in any of these reports. Ultimately, these groups are seeking to engage in a discussion about immigration detention policy, which CCA neither makes nor enforces. Further, under longstanding corporate policy, we do not lobby for, promote, or in any way take a position on immigration detention policy. We hope these critic groups will shift their time, effort and money to the appropriate policy forums rather than attacking a company providing solutions to some very serious problems facing our country."

3 - Blewett Thomas is a Gulfport attorney. Back in the 1970s he befriended Mississippi bluesman, Big Joe Williams. He made several home recordings of Williams which have now been released in the collection, "Big Joe Williams - The Audition Tapes 1978." Blewett talked with Larry Morrisey of the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Plus a box office peek with Anita Modak-Truran.

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