The Justice Department concluded Wednesday that the Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman, has violated a number of constitutional rights granted to those incarcerated at the prison. 

“The Constitution guarantees that all people incarcerated in jails and prisons are treated humanely, that reasonable measures are taken to keep them safe, and that they receive necessary mental health care, treatment, and services to address their needs,” Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, said. “Our investigation uncovered evidence of systemic violations that have generated a violent and unsafe environment for people incarcerated at Parchman. We are committed to taking action that will ensure the safety of all people held at Parchman and other state prison facilities.”

The investigation was launched in Feb. 2020 after Jay-Z, Yo Gotti, and Roc Nation’s social justice division, Team Roc, obtained legal representation for over 200 individuals incarcerated at Parchman and filed several lawsuits over alleged inhumane conditions at the prison. The findings include a failure to provide adequate mental health treatment, sufficient suicide prevention measures, and protection from violence from other incarcerated people. 

Darren LaMarca, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, vowed to work with state officials to ensure that Parchman keeps to its constitutional obligations to those incarcerated. Yo Gotti issued a statement in response to today’s findings, pledging to “stand up for the voiceless” while also applauding the Justice Department for holding Parchman accountable for its failures. 

“My heart goes out to the incarcerated men who have suffered without access to clean water, food and healthcare and the families that tragically lost loved ones in the process,” he said. “I will continue to stand up for the voiceless until they receive justice they deserve. I’m grateful for the U.S. Department of Justice’s thorough report to hold the Mississippi Department of Corrections accountable for the cruel and inhumane treatment of the incarcerated population.”