Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Jay-Z and Yo Gotti File Federal Lawsuit Over Inhumane Conditions at Mississippi Prisons

Jay+Z+Meek+Mill+Michael+Rubin+CEO+Van+Jones+J-uA3wxQN9Il
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter speaks onstage during the launch of The Reform Alliance at John Jay College on January 23, 2019 in New York City.
(Jan. 22, 2019 – Source: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images Europe)

*Rapper Yo Gotti, Team Roc and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z have filed a lawsuit against Mississippi prison officials and the warden of the state penitentiary on behalf of 29 prisoners. 

The prisoners say authorities have done nothing to stem violence that has left five inmates dead in the past two weeks, according to NBC News.

The lawsuit was filed by Jigga’s attorney Alex Spiro on Tuesday (Jan. 14) at the U.S. District Court in Greenville, Mississippi, and names Mississippi corrections chief Pelicia Hall and Parchman Penitentiary Superintendent Marshal Turner as defendants. 

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Songwriters Hall of Fame 2020: Mariah Carey, the Neptunes, Mickey Stevenson & More Inducted – WATCH

Spiro said, “These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi’s utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights.”

He told NBC News in a statement: “This unthinkable spate of deaths is the culmination of years of severe understaffing and neglect at Mississippi’s prisons. As Mississippi has incarcerated increasing numbers of people, it has dramatically reduced its funding of prisons. As a result, prison conditions fail to meet even the most basic human rights.”

Spiro added, “People are forced to live in squalor, with rats that crawl over them as they sleep on the floor, having been denied even a mattress for a cot.”

Jay-Z and rap artist Yo Gotti fired off a letter to both Hall and Gov. Phil Bryant calling for change in the penitentiary system, and threatening to sue over violations of Eighth Amendment rights. The lawsuit cites conditions within the Parchman facility such as a denial of prisoners’ rights.

“Plaintiffs’ lives are in peril,” the 11-page suit states. “Individuals in Mississippi’s prisons are dying because Mississippi has failed to fund its prisons, resulting in prisons where violence reigns.

“Parchman, a maximum security prison built on the site of a former plantation, has only one-quarter of the corrections officers it needs. Without adequate guards, prisons are plagued with violence, with incarcerated people fearing for their lives. In the first week of 2020, three men died at Parchman alone.”

Spiro said, “We cannot treat people this way and it’s time to do something about it.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

YOU MAY LIKE

SEARCH

THE CULTURECALENDAR: WHAT'S NEW & BLACK ON TV

- Advertisement -

TRENDING