The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the Mississippi prison system, this coming after a string of inmate deaths in the last few months. Federal prosecutors announced that they are looking into conditions at four state prisons following the deaths of at least 15 inmates since late December.

The investigation is examining whether state corrections officials are adequately protecting prisoners from physical harm and will also look into whether there are adequate health care and suicide prevention services.

Violence is a recurring problem in Mississippi prisons, where many jobs for guards are unfilled.

Feds launch investigation into Mississippi prisons after string of deaths, outrage