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‘A Shameful Symbol’: Jay-Z and Yo Gotti Help 152 Mississippi Prison Inmates File a Lawsuit for Deplorable, Violent Conditions

Jay-Z and Yo Gotti, along with Jay-Z’s Team Roc, helped to file a lawsuit on behalf of 152 inmates being held in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Greeneville, Mississippi, on Feb. 26, according to NBC News. In the documents, the complaint says because of low staffing, inmates are easily able to commit violent assaults against each other with no one to intervene.

Some at Parchman said they’ve been forced to treat their own stab wounds and put in their own catheters. The inmates have also alleged they find rat and bird droppings in their food and in their bathroom facilities.

According to the suit’s notes, there is often one guard for every 160 inmates.

“[Conditions are] so barbaric, the deprivation of health and mental health care so extreme, and the defects in security so severe, that the people confined at Parchman live a miserable and hopeless existence confronted daily by imminent risk of substantial harm in violation of their rights under the U.S. Constitution,” the complaint reads.

Jay-Z and Yo Gotti also took out a full-page ad in The New York Times, where they issued an open letter to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves.

“There have been nearly two-dozen senseless deaths since December 29th, along with countless injuries and untold cases of mental and physical terrorism inflicted upon the inmates,” the letter reads. “Given those tragedies, if you don’t act decisively, Parchman will soon be the site of a human catastrophe the likes of which the United States hasn’t seen in a generation.”

The rappers have also asked the governor to shut down the facility, which they say is “a shameful symbol of society’s moral decay.”

In January, on behalf of 29 Parchman prisoners, Jay-Z sued the head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, as well as the warden and said they haven’t done anything to halt the violence.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department said it will assess the conditions at Parchman, along with the South Mississippi Correctional Institute, the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

Roc Nation released a PSA about Parchman on Feb. 26 as well, where family members of the inmates who recently died there were interviewed. The inside of the prison is also shown.

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