Jay Z and Team ROC are leading the charge in a class action lawsuit on behalf of 227 Mississippi inmates for inhumane living conditions at Parchman Prison.
Jay Z, Yo Gotti, and Team ROC, are engaged in a class action lawsuit. Team ROC is the charitable division of Roc Nation, and this action sets the bar high for social justice engagement at an agency level. The class action lawsuit was initiated on behalf of 227 Mississippi inmates for inhumane living conditions at Parchman Prison. The complaint was recently made public and the document provides a candid glimpse of the life inside during the COVID 19 pandemic.
The suit is asserted against defendants Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner, Nathan Burl Cain; the prison’s Healthcare Provider, Centurion; and many others. The complaint focuses upon the substandard conditions of living within the prison. It references overflowing toilets, leaky ceilings, wet floors, mold, stale or inedible food, and many other obstacles as well as inadequate health care measures.
Parchman Prison is a prison farm, over 100 years old. It is colloquially referred to as Parchman Prison and is also officially the Mississippi State Penitentiary. It lies in the heart of the Mississippi River delta. Parchman is Mississippi’s only men’s maximum security prison. Its conditions reflect its age and upkeep. Parchman is about 28 square miles so it sprawls across quite a large swath of land.
As of September 1, 2008, Parchman Prison, with a capacity of 4,527, had 4,181 prisoners. The amount of prisoners housed in Parchman housed a total of 29% of people within the state’s Department of Corrections system. Of the male inmates at Parchman Prison, 72% were Black.
The complaint states that there are no mental health services and physical health services are wholly inadequate in Parchman Prison. A large driving force in the litigation is the inadequate measures taken to address the COVID 19 pandemic. The complaint contains several questionnaires from inmates at Parchman and they reflect that social distancing is not adhered to and safety gear is rarely worn.
The suit invokes the constitutional rights of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment as well as the Fourteenth Amendment Right to Due Process. Mississippi Governor Reeves, and parent company to Centurion, Centene are perhaps the most powerfully situated to effectuate the desired remedy.
Plaintiffs are requesting that the court order Defendants to devise and implement a plan to handle the current conditions at Parchman Prison within 90 days.
Written by Christian Girgis, a RapTV contributor.