Jay-Z and Yo Gotti’s advocacy efforts have paid off at the Mississippi State Penitentiary.
In 2020, an investigation was launched into Parchman, the Mississippi penitentiary, after the artists filed numerous lawsuits over inhumane atrocities occurring at the prison. Roc Nation’s social justice group, Team Roc, got lawyers for more than 200 incarcerated people unlawfully suffering from the prison’s conditions.
On Wednesday (April 20), the U.S. Justice Department found Parchman guilty of denying constitutional rights to its prisoners.
The Department revealed Parchman's failures to provide adequate mental health treatment, sufficient suicide prevention measures, and protection from violence from other incarcerated people, Complex reports.
Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke said in a statement, “The Constitution guarantees that all people incarcerated in jails and prisons are treated humanely, that reasonable measures are taken to keep them safe, and that they receive necessary mental health care, treatment, and services to address their needs.”
Clarke added, “Our investigation uncovered evidence of systemic violations that have generated a violent and unsafe environment for people incarcerated at Parchman. We are committed to taking action that will ensure the safety of all people held at Parchman and other state prison facilities.”
Yo Gotti praised the Justice Department for calling out Parchman’s inadequate treatment of the incarcerated.
“My heart goes out to the incarcerated men who have suffered without access to clean water, food and healthcare and the families that tragically lost loved ones in the process,” the hip-hop artist said in a statement. “I will continue to stand up for the voiceless until they receive justice they deserve. I’m grateful for the U.S. Department of Justice’s thorough report to hold the Mississippi Department of Corrections accountable for the cruel and inhumane treatment of the incarcerated population.”