Work done by Team ROC, the social justice division of Roc Nation led by Jay-Z and Yo Gotti, could result in major changes to conditions at Mississippi State Penitentiary (also known as Parchman), Billboard reports.
In 2020 Team ROC secured legal representation for more than 200 inmates at the state prison and filed multiple lawsuits that resulted in an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into allegations of prisoners' rights being routinely violated while incarcerated. On Wednesday, April 20, the results of that investigation was published with the U.S. Justice Department announcing that "Mississippi routinely violates the constitutional rights of people incarcerated at Parchman."
The DOJ added, "Based upon a thorough investigation [which began in February 2020], there is reasonable cause to believe that conditions and practices at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (also known as Parchman) violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution." The DOJ has "provided the state of Mississippi with written notice of the supporting facts for these findings and the minimum remedial measures necessary to address them."
Yo Gotti said in a statement: "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. 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."
Separate DOJ investigations into accusations of poor conditions at Southern Mississippi Correctional Institution, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and Wilkinson County Correctional Facility are ongoing.