Jay-Z and Yo Gotti announced a while back that through Team Roc they were hiring medical experts to look into conditions at Mississippi prisons. Now, that report has concluded and the results include some shocking details.
The Clarion Ledger has released an investigative report on the treatment of inmates at the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ Parchman Farm, which includes court documents, expert reports, handwritten statements by inmates and excerpts of prisoner interviews.
Medical experts, hired by Hov and Gotti, were allowed by a judge to go to Parchman in February to begin their investigation, evaluate the conditions, and then present their discoveries in court.
The inquiry discovered that inmates often end up threatening to harm themselves, flooding cells and setting fires in order to receive basic help when a resident is very sick or injured. Instances include a diabetic patient who hadn’t received insulin for three days and one man who was urinating blood.
The report also found that inmates were provided food which was “undercooked, or spoiled, covered in insects or rat feces, if delivered at all" and alleges that "water that inmates drink and use to wash their clothes is brown and foul-smelling." Some cells do not have running water, so prisoners have had to resort to urinating or defecating in plastic bags.
Access to healthcare, according to the report, is highly inadequate with some inmates claiming they didn’t have follow up appointments even if they showed symptomes for conditions like tuberculosis, colon cancer or a brain tumor.
The Ledger reports: “Inmates claim access to consistent and competent medical care is hampered by a corrupt and indifferent system. Men reportedly frequently have trouble obtaining sick call slips needed to request appointments because the supply runs out. Oftentimes it can take several days for the patient to be seen, if at all. Guards regularly fail to transport men to their doctor's appointments, resulting in treatment being delayed. Some people claim officers charge unofficial transportation fees of up to $150.”
All of this excludes the newer and serious threat of the coronavirus pandemic, which the MDOC reports has produced over 100 staff members and inmates contracting the virus.
Team Roc’s lawsuit stems from the riots that took place at Parchman in January. It was found that more inmates die in that system than any other in the country, according to a report from the New York Times. As the COVID-19 outbreak hit the Mississippi prisons, Gotti and Hov once again sued the MDOC in July. In response to their court filing, MDOC claimed the allegations to be based on data and info that’s five months old and not representative of the current conditions.