Jay-Z & Yo Gotti Expose Inhumane Treatment At Parchman In New Documentary

Written By Chris Samuel

Prison of Horrors

Jay-Z and Yo Gotti, renowned figures in the music industry, are joining forces to shed light on the appalling conditions inmates face at the Parchman Correctional Facility in Mississippi. In the upcoming documentary, Exposing Parchman, set to premiere on June 17 at 8 p.m. EST on the A&E network, the influential duo aims to reveal the truth behind the inhumane treatment and systemic issues plaguing the justice system in the United States.

Yo Gotti
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Roc Nation’s Team ROC & Yo Gotti Collaborate With Inmates & Families

Through its social justice and philanthropic sector called Team ROC, Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, has partnered with Yo Gotti and the inmates’ families to expose the harsh realities experienced within Parchman Correctional Facility. Together, they firmly resolve to draw attention to the injustices that prisoners face in Mississippi.

Trailer Highlights Living Conditions & Commentary

The recently released trailer for Exposing Parchman features poignant commentary from Jay-Z, Yo Gotti, inmates’ family members, and others familiar with the situation. The footage includes a montage showcasing the deplorable living conditions and voices of incarcerated individuals expressing their discontent with their treatment at Parchman.

Legal Action & Advocacy Efforts

Both Jay-Z and Yo Gotti have taken legal action against Parchman and its healthcare provider, Centene, in their fight for justice. These influential artists have filed multiple lawsuits and successfully secured legal representation for over 200 inmates at Parchman, aiming to bring accountability and improve the prison’s conditions.

The rappers/businessmen had previously expressed their concerns over the treatment of inmates at Parchman, even threatening legal action. Their determination to address the inhuman conditions within the Mississippi prison demonstrates their ongoing commitment to social justice and prison reform. 

In 2022, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation organized a summit to address pressing issues such as prison reform, social justice, and police brutality. The event aimed to raise awareness and encourage meaningful discussions on these critical matters, emphasizing Roc Nation’s dedication to making a positive impact.

With their involvement in Exposing Parchman, Jay-Z and Yo Gotti’s efforts align with their previous endeavors to advocate for prison reform and shed light on social injustices. This upcoming documentary continues their commitment to effecting change within the criminal justice system and raising public awareness of the challenges incarcerated individuals face.

Updated by Chris Samuel (5/11/2023)

Jay-Z, Yo Gotti & Roc Nation Set To Expose Humanitarian Crisis Within The Notorious “Parchman” Penitentiary In A&E Doc

RocNation CEO Jay-Z along with rap entrepreneur Yo Gotti are presenting a four-part documentary series “Exposing Parchman,” to highlight the horrors and abuses within the notorious Parchman Correctional Facility in Mississippi.

Jay-Z Takes On Mississippi Penitentiary System

Roc Nation, in collaboration with A&E Networks, announced the approval of the four-part limited docu-series titled “Exposing Parchman.” The series will feature Jay-Z, Yo-Gotti, Team Roc (the philanthropist arm of Roc Nation), and lawyers working alongside inmates to reveal the intolerable conditions and ongoing abuse in the Mississippi Penitentiary, commonly known as “Parchman.” This groundbreaking series sheds light on the progressing lawsuit against Parchman while providing an insider’s look into the dilapidated prison. With a focus on up to 29 inmates, it uncovers the untold dishonorable history of the facility.

Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E released a statement saying. “A&E has the privilege to partner with Roc Nation to tell the truly urgent story of Parchman Prison as we continue our commitment to impactful programming. The series is emblematic of larger issues within the U.S. criminal justice system, and we hope it spurs desperately needed awareness both at Parchman Prison, and nationwide.” 

A&E will soon release the documentary series, although no official date has been announced yet.

Mississippi Prison Crisis

In December 2019, Parchman began making national headlines for its high death toll, violence and neglected inmates. The conditions of the prison are so remorseless, it has been called one of the worst detention centers in the world. A prison crisis swept across Mississippi when multiple fights broke out at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility, South Mississippi Correctional Institution and Parchman, causing a statewide prison lockdown. Going into the New Year the lockdown was lifted for all prisons except Parchman where the highest total of deaths occured. Regardless of the lockdown, riots and fights in the prison continued.

During the violence, brave and hopeless inmates sent out a cry for help on contraband cell phone footage to show the conditions inside the prison. Videos swept social media getting the attention of Hip Hop celebrities and local activists. Atlanta-born rapper T.I. took to his Instagram to shine light on the prison by reposting videos from inmates. “Love and HipHop: New York” cast member Yandy, joined local activist group “Until Freedom” to demand Mississippi to Shut down Parchman Prison entirely. Later that year, Yandy took to Instagram to announce that after constant protest, one of the units in the prison was finally closed with no access. This was a start to receiving help for the inmates.

A Cry For Help Answered

The fight didn’t stop there. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Yo-Gotti shared his outrage about the prison, calling the conditions “inhumane” during an interview with Power 105.1 radio show “The Breakfast Club.”  Soon after the interview Yo-Gotti joined forces with Jay-Z, Team Roc, and lawyers, filing a civil rights lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections on behalf of 29 inmates. 

In documents obtained by TMZ the suit seeks damages for the inmates, claiming the inmates are exposed to serious harm and left unprotected due to the understaffing of guards. Backing Yo-Gotti’s claim of inhumane living, according to the suit Parchman does not have enough mattresses for the inmates, the cells are covered in black mold and raw sewage spilling onto the floors. Not to mention a water problem similar to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Team Roc is declaring the drinking water for inmates fails to meet federal safety standards. An order was set in place to force the Mississippi Department of Corrections to increase staffing, clean up sewage, debris, and all other issues addressed in the civil lawsuit. 

The case began to grow as hundreds of past inmates and families are joining the complaint. The flight still continues for inmates. The Parchman documentary will further bring light to the horrors in this prison and build further support for Team Roc’s prison reform initiative.

Jay-Z Urges “Rap Music On Trial” Bill

Besides his advocacy with the Parchman Prison, Jay-Z and Meek Mill are urging NY lawmakers to pass the “Rap Music On Trial” Bill to prevent courts from using lyrics to prosecute alleged crimes.  The social justice activists enlisted the help of a host of other artists to help push the cause.

Originally written by Seeka Starsky

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Written by Chris Samuel

Chris Samuel is a North Carolina native who has a passion for writing but is also a big history buff and is a sports reporter in the side. Chris is an avid hip-hop fan whose favorite artists include J. Cole, JID, Larry June, Griselda, Freddie Gibbs, NaS, Joey Bada$$ and also Old School R&B.

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