Mississippi begins its defense in trial on prison conditions
JACKSON, Miss. - The warden of a Mississippi prison accused of being unconstitutionally cruel says conditions there aren't unique to his lockup.
Warden Frank Shaw of Eastern Mississippi Correctional Facility took the stand Monday as the first defense witness in a federal trial over conditions at the prison.
Shaw oversees the operations of the privately run prison. He testified that many of its issues aren't unique.
Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center argued their case for nearly a month, with inmates and expert witnesses testifying to the prison's notorious violence.
Prisoners also are complaining about what they call inadequate health care and unsanitary conditions. The state denies the prison's conditions are unacceptable.
Defense lawyers say they intend to wrap their case this week.
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