Attorneys for JAY-Z and Yo Gotti have dropped two lawsuits against the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman after the beleaguered prison apparently cleaned up its act.
According to a report Billboard published on Tuesday, January 24, the lawsuits, which were filed on behalf of numerous inmates back in 2020, were terminated over a week ago after attorneys for the inmates and the state's Department of Corrections confirmed that improvements have been made at Parchman. The oldest prison in Mississippi has been updated over the past three years with renovated bathrooms and air conditioning throughout most of the premises. Electric, water and sewer systems have also been fixed.
“We’re pleased that Parchman has started to address the cruel and inhumane prison conditions after the Department of Justice’s investigation, but we aren’t satisfied with short-term improvements,” Gotti said in a statement on Monday. “The Mississippi Department of Corrections has neglected these torturous living conditions for decades, so we will continue to hold them accountable and ensure they commit to creating long-lasting change that safely protects their incarcerated population.”
Back in April, the Justice Department determined that Parchman failed to protect inmates from violence, ignored their mental health needs and relied on extensive solitary confinement practices way too much. The department ruled that the inmates' constitutional rights were violated following a two-year investigation into the prison. According to Assistant Atorney General Kristen Clarke, officials with the Mississippi Department of Corrections cooperated and made sure to fix all the issues.
The original lawsuits were filed by lawyers for Hov, Gotti and Team Roc, which is Roc Nation's philantropic agency, back in 2020. The compliants detailed the disturbing conditions the inmates were living in. The Justice Department's investigation appeared to back the claims after it discovered "gross understaffing" and "uncontrolled gang activity" that led to violence and "unfettered access to contraband."