Yo Gotti has been involved in a legal battle as of late in an attempt to improve the living conditions for inmates at Parchman State Penitentiary in Mississippi. Jay-Z’s lawyers recently filed a lawsuit against the state of Mississippi on behalf of Gotti, Roc Nation, and 29 inmates affected by the neglect at Parchman, and now it’s been reported that Gotti has called on Team Roc to take further action. Gotti and Roc have filed an emergency order seeking the court to appoint an independent monitor to assume control of Parchman’s day-to-day operations. Their hope is that this move would lead to an overall improvement in the lives of inmates at Parchman, as the current situation there is unconstitutional, violating the 8th Amendment that bars cruel and unusual punishment.
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According to court documents, the circumstances Gotti is protesting are a largely a result of an understaffing issue. There is only one guard assigned to 160 inmates in a particular cell block, and the limited number of guards “can’t, or won’t, enter Unit 29 buildings to prevent violence or even render much needed emergency medical assistance.” The inmates have allegedly been served cold, rotten food containing rocks, insects, and bird and rat droppings, and the drinking water is allegedly contaminated with human waste. Toilets are spilling out onto floors, and prisoners have resorted to setting fires just to get the attention of the sparse number of guards. These conditions have lead to eight total inmate deaths at Parchman in the last 26 days alone. On Thursday, the governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves, held a news conference in which he attempted to blame the violence and subsequent deaths that have occurred at Parchman on inmates’ access to cell phones.
However, this is not how Gotti sees it. “The situation at Parchman is a lethal humanitarian crisis,” Gotti stated. “Our fellow humans are being held in facilities with little to no food, no clean water, no electricity, no heat, no blankets and in cells where the floors are full of roaches, rats, black mold and feces. There are inmates who haven’t been able to shower for over a month. The incarcerated are human beings who deserve safe, healthy and humane living conditions—not torturous, deadly treatment. We won’t stop until the Mississippi government makes sweeping changes to guarantee the safety of inmates.”