It’s been less than a week since the last death at Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman, occurred, and yet another inmate has lost his life.
According to the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger, Joshua Norman, 26, was found dead in his single-man cell in Unit 29 during a security check at 11:12 a.m. on Sunday, Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton confirmed.
“In my professional opinion after viewing the scene, no foul play was involved,” Burton said. “Official cause of death and manner of death are pending autopsy results.”
According to the report, Norman was found hanging in his cell before his body was transported to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
He was serving a five-year sentence at the facility for armed robbery.
Norman’s death brings the total number of inmates who have died in Mississippi Department of Corrections custody to a total of 12 so far for the year—and January is not even finished.
At the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs, another inmate, 38-year-old Jermaine Tyler, was found dead on Saturday evening.
Tyler, who was serving a life sentence for murder, and other charges, was believed to have been dead for four to six hours when his body was discovered, according to Marshall County Coroner James Anderson, and possibly even longer.
The cause of death has not yet been determined, pending an autopsy.
As the Clarion-Ledger notes, of the 12 deaths so far this year, nine of them have occurred at Parchman. MDOC officials say that some of the deaths were due to gang-related violence.
However, data also shows that the number of deaths has almost doubled the average of 5.5 death per month for the Mississippi Department of Corrections. In addition, most past inmate deaths at Parchman have been deemed due to natural causes. The last time that the department has seen this number of homicides and suicides in a single month was back in 2014, according to the Ledger.