Jay-Z is not only known for his amazing music. The rapper and businessman is also known for his philanthropic efforts. He has been involved in a number of charitable causes throughout his career, including education and criminal justice reform. In 2013, Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, launched the Shawn Carter Foundation, which aims to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education and find employment. The foundation has provided financial assistance to individuals and families in need, as well as support for education and job training programs.
Jay-Z has also been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform. He has worked with organizations such as the Innocence Project and the Reform Alliance to raise awareness about the issue and push for changes to the criminal justice system. He also produced a documentary on the subject, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which aired on Spike TV in 2017.
Therefore, when several activists turned their attention to the prison system during the pandemic, Jay-Z and his team at Roc Nation issued several federal lawsuits against the Mississippi State Penitentiary system in Parchman after inmates complained of inhumane conditions.
It was reported that the inmates were deprived of medical care, and there were rat feces, cockroaches, and bird excrement reportedly being served to the inmates. The lawsuits were reportedly filed on behalf of over 200 inmates.
However, Jay-Z and Yo Gotti decided to drop their lawsuit against the prison after it made several updates in the following years which included adding steel showers, working ambulances, and functioning air conditioning and plumbing systems.
“We are pleased with the changes made to date and the improvements in the day to day lives of the guys’ inside,” said attorney Jordan Siev, who works with Team Roc. “But we’re also cognizant of the fact that Parchman has had a long history of lawsuits, improvements and then backsliding conditions.”
“We’re pleased that improvements have been made inside, but we’re also not going to take our foot off the gas.”
Yo Gotti issued a statement saying that he is glad changes have been made. He also stated that he believes this speaks to a larger issue.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Although the lawsuit is dropped, it doesn’t mean that they can backtrack on the changes they’ve made as Roc Nation could just refile the lawsuit. Stay tuned to Thirsty For News as we bring you similar stories.
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