(AllHipHop News) Team Roc, the philanthropic arm of Roc Nation, is continuing its legal fight against the poor prison conditions in Mississippi. Hip Hop recording artists Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims are again backing a second civil lawsuit against the MS Department of Corrections.
Jay-Z, Yo Gotti, and Team ROC are seeking a court order that forces the MSDOC to immediately address the deadly situation at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. The plaintiffs are also calling on officials to develop a plan that will eliminate the health and safety risks within 90 days.
The lawsuit includes over 150 inmates giving firsthand accounts on their deplorable circumstances in the Mississippi prison system. There have been complaints of lack of clean water, adequate food, electricity, heat, access to healthcare, and clothing.
Some of the accounts from inmates include:
- “Many times, the food is adulterated with rat feces, cockroaches, rocks, bird droppings, and other foreign matter.”
- “The toilets routinely back up and flood the prison cells, which allows f#### matter, urine, and water to cover the floors and drain out into the housing unit’s common space…the portable water system at Parchman is contaminated with human feces, presumably from the sewer system.”
- “Prisoner-on-prisoner violence is rampant, and, at times, is facilitated by corrupt guards seeking to curry favor with inmates. Plaintiffs have witnessed instances where guards have provided cell keys to inmates so they could assault, and sometimes kill, other inmates.”
- “Many inmates, including Plaintiffs, are in dire need of medical care for cancer, lupus, serious heart defects, Rheumatoid Arthritis, deteriorating joints and muscles, swollen prostate glands, and open, festering wounds.”
- “[Inmates] insert their own catheters, treat their own stab wounds, vomit up blood, teeter on the verge of diabetic comas, and suffer through seizures without medical care. Even a broken neck can go without treatment at Parchman, with the inmate being left to suffer through his injury while sleeping on exposed, steel bedsprings with no mattress.”
- “So bad is the medical care at Parchman that inmates have resorted to lighting fires in conditions of total confinement, where escape from smoke and flames is impossible, simply to draw attention to emergent medical issues occurring in the housing units.”
Additionally, the conditions inside Parchman have been documented on video by people living in the facility. On February 26, Roc Nation released an 18-minute Parchman Prison Public Service Announcement with footage from inside the penitentiary.
Since December 2019, at least nine inmate deaths have occurred at Parchman as a result of suicides, homicides, and miscellaneous cases. There have been at least eighteen deaths throughout the Mississippi prison system over that time.