MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis-born rapper Yo Gotti and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation followed through on the threat to sue the State of Mississippi over ongoing issues with the state’s Department of Corrections.
The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Mississippi against Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall and Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Marshal Turner.
According to the lawsuit, people held in Mississippi prisons are dying because the state has failed to fund its prisons, resulting violence issues because the prisons are understaffed.
Former Governor Phil Bryant previously blamed the recent violence within Mississippi prisons on gangs operating inside the system. In an article with the Associated Press, he said prisons are difficult to manage “under the best of the circumstance.”
The lawsuit also claimed the number of inmates in the state continues to rise, but nearly half the prison guard slots at Parchman remain vacant. The lawsuit alleges Parchman only has a quarter of the corrections officers it needs to operate.
TMZ reported Saturday that Yo Gotti, whose real name is Mario Mims, called Team Roc, the philanthropic arm of Roc Nation, to demand then-Governor Bryant to make immediate changes in the state’s prison system.
A letter was sent to former Governor Bryant last Thursday saying there will be legal action if Bryant did not improve prison conditions.
Over the last couple of weeks, five inmates have died in three different Mississippi Prisons.
After being sworn in Tuesday, new Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has not commented on the prison situation.