Yo Gotti and Jay-Z are continuing to fight for Mississippi prison inmates.
According to court documents obtained by Complex, the rappers and Team ROC have procured legal representation for more than 200 prisoners at Mississippi State Penitentiary, aka Parchman Farm. The move ultimately helped inmates file a lawsuit against the state's new Department of Corrections Commissioner Nathan Burl Cain as well as Centurion, the healthcare provider for the Mississippi prison system.
The complaint states the deadly living conditions at Parchman have not been properly addressed in the months since Gotti and Team ROC initially sued DOC officials over neglect. The plaintiffs claim the "cruel and tortuous" conditions, which allegedly led to violence and death, have been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak within Parchman. In COVID-19 questionnaire forms completed by Parchman inmates and sent in by Gotti and Team ROC's attorneys, several men reported their personal symptoms and the facility's lack of personal protective equipment, social distancing protocols, and adequate medical care for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
"The situation in Parchman is dire. More and more of the incarcerated population are reaching out for help and pleading for immediate medical attention, especially as the coronavirus threatens their lives," Gotti said in a statement. "Mississippi Governor Reeves, Commissioner Burl Cain and Centene — as the parent company of Parchman’s healthcare provider Centurion — can’t continue to neglect this tragedy and let the death toll rise. We will hold them accountable and fight for the rights of the incarcerated."
The lawsuit states cell units are subject to black mold, rat infestations, and flooding as well as a lack of running water and electricity. Inmates have also received undercooked meals, which, at many times, contain rat feces, bird droppings, and cockroaches, and "other foreign matter."
"There can be no doubt these conditions take their toll both physically and psychologically," the complaint additionally states, "as the relentless cacophony created by the cries of human suffering and violence pervade each inmate’s experience at Parchman."