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What is Parchman Prison?

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Quick Answer

Parchman Prison, also known as Parchman Farm, is the oldest state penitentiary in Mississippi, according to the Missippi Department of Corrections. It was first opened in 1901 on 18,000 acres in Parchman, Mississippi.

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Full Answer

According the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Parchman resembled a large plantation from Civil War times, and was divided into racially segregated male and female camps. The prisoners worked 10 hours a day, six days a week and had to attend religious services on Sunday. They slept in single-story buildings called cages. Male prisoners worked on farms or in brickyards, sawmills or cotton gins. Jobs were also available in the prison hospital. The female prisoners made clothes and bed sheets for the prison inmates. As of 2014, Parchman Prison is still in operation as a work farm.

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