Jay-Z, Yo Gotti, and Team ROC have helmed legal action on behalf of 227 Mississippi inmates at Parchman Prison, Pitchfork can confirm via legal documents. The class action lawsuit has been brought against the new Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Nathan Burl Cain and prison healthcare provider Centurion. The complaint urges Cain and Centurion to address allegedly subpar living conditions at Parchman.
In addition to the lawsuit, Yo Gotti and Team ROC’s attorneys had several Parchman inmates submit sworn COVID-19 questionnaire forms detailing the lack of COVID-19 testing protocol at the prison. The returned questionnaires describe a lack of social distancing, PPE, and more at the penitentiary.
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The complaint alleges that Parchman Prison has been “understaffed and underfunded for decades,” which has resulted in inadequate healthcare (physical and mental), the overuse of isolation, and “constant violence.” The lawsuit also cites multiple alleged hygiene issues within Parchman Prison, including a potable water system contaminated with human feces, the presence of black mold, vermin, inmates’ limited access to showers, and more. “The conditions inside Parchman are medieval,” the complaint states at one point.
Elsewhere in the suit, Plaintiffs mention the status of inmates’ meals at Parchman, stating that, “the kitchen facilities and food service at Parchman are nauseating,” and claiming that a June 2019 inspection by the Mississippi Health Department found “containers of dried, spoiled and molded food, flies and other pests in the kitchen, food maintained in coolers at unsafe temperatures, collapsing ceilings, and other unhealthy food preparation and storage conditions.” Inmates allegedly receive meals that are undercooked and served at unsafe temperatures, and sometimes, tainted with vermin.
Plaintiffs are requesting that the court order Defendants to develop and implement a plan to address current conditions at Parchman within 90 days.
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