PARCHMAN, Miss. — The leader of Mississippi’s oldest and largest prison is preparing to retire.

Earnest Lee has been superintendent of Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman since May 1, 2012. His last day will be Friday.

Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall says in a news release that Lee has been “a capable leader in a challenging job during challenging times.”

Marshal Turner will serve as interim superintendent at Parchman. He is currently a warden at South Mississippi Correctional Institution.

The Parchman prison sits on 18,000 acres in Sunflower County. It can hold up to 3,590 inmates and now has about 3,360.

Lee started his career as a correctional officer trainee at Parchman in 1981. He became a warden there and administrator at the other two prisons in central and south Mississippi.

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