Jay-Z and Yo Gotti are still championing for better conditions inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary.
Yo Gotti and Roc Nation have been involved in an ongoing lawsuit against Parchman prison in Mississippi. The facility is reportedly not sanitary or conducive to the health of the inmates residing there. The motion that was originally filed back in January has been amended to accommodate measures to combat the global pandemic that is COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus. Hova, Gotti, and Team Roc, which is a philanthropic branch of Roc Nation, have been effectively putting the pressure on Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves urging that the state prisons be cleaned up to counteract the threat of the novel coronavirus.
Now the two are taking things a lot further, and requesting that the region of Mississippi have all Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman detainees tested for the coronavirus. Yo Gotti had this to say about the conditions of the prison and the threat inmates face daily: “These inmates have been subjected to inhumane health and safety risks, and now have to deal with the uncertainty and potential devastation of the coronavirus, too,” Yo Gotti stated in court documents. “It is imperative that the Mississippi Department of Corrections implement a plan within Parchman to provide the medical resources necessary to protect inmates that might be exposed.”
While the facility has already suspended prison visits to the public, limiting interactions to only essential parties like lawyers, the motion filed by Team Roc and Yo Gotti is asking for more to be done. According to court documents, they are protesting for immediate testing of inmates, quarantine where necessary, screening of visitors and immediate testing and quarantine for new prisoners. They also moved for improvements to the personal hygiene detail suggesting that defendants be required to provide hand sanitize or other hygiene products to each inmate free of charge and replenish when necessary
“In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Parchman inmates are helpless in the most literal sense of the world; without Court intervention, the MDOC will default to the same feckless approach to crises that has become the norm at Parchman,” the motion further states. “If said adequate testing kits are unavailable or scarce, then the most concerning symptoms — fever and cough — should be tested.”
More than two dozen prisoners have kicked the can in Mississippi prisons over the last quarter. A large number of those deaths were at Parchman prison which accommodates approximately 2,200 prisoners. The last reported death was just last week when 42-year-old Michael Robertson who was found dormant in his cell on March 12. MDOC reported no sign of foul play but cause of death is yet to be announced pending the autopsy.
Mississippi has recorded 21 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, after 389 people were tested for the disease. There are reportedly no confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases inside any MDOC detainment facilities. “We are monitoring new developments and plans will be updated accordingly,” Deputy Commissioner Jeworski Mallet said in a statement. “Steps are being taken to protect staff, inmates, and the public from potential exposure to the coronavirus.”
The coronavirus has killed numerous people over the globe and been persistent in spreading and quickly causing an ever increasing number of contamination across countries. For facilities like prison where thousands of people are housed, it’s imperative that we have measures in place to control the pandemic outbreak within that space. Yo Gotti and Team Roc definitely have the right idea and are using their platform to influence better decisions.