Porsha Taylor held a photo of her brother, Antonio Taylor, in front of the Mississippi Capitol. Antonio was found dead inside of his cell at Mississippi’s State Penitentiary at Parchman December 2019. Porsha Taylor was one of many family members and scores of citizens who protested in front of the Mississippi Capitol on Friday.

A section of Mississippi Street was blocked by barricades as advocates for prison reform gathered outside of the Mississippi Capitol to protest recent violence and multiple deaths at Parchman

After reports of poor living conditions and at least 10 deaths in Mississippi’s prison system, Yo Gotti, along with Jay-Z’s organization Team ROC, the Poor People’s Campaign and the Mississippi Prison Reform Coalition organized the rally calling for Parchman to be shut down permanently. Here are the photos from the rally. — Eric J. Shelton

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Eric J. Shelton was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our health photojournalist in January 2022.