Rap superstar Jay-Z filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections Tuesday on behalf of nearly 30 prisoners, claiming inmates are being subject to inhumane, violent and unconstitutional conditions that have led to the death of five people over the last two weeks.
The lawsuit names Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Marshall Turner and the outgoing department of corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall as defendants, according to court records.
“Plaintiffs’ lives are in peril,” said the lawsuit. “Individuals held in Mississippi’s prisons are dying because Mississippi has failed to fund its prisons, resulting in prisons where violence reigns because prisons are understaffed.
In the past two weeks alone, five men incarcerated in Mississippi have died as the result of prison violence. These deaths are a direct result of Mississippi’s utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights.”
The lawsuit has directed national attention to the plight of inmates held within the state’s prison system, he further explains that the Eight Amendment rights of prisoners have been violated.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and is violated when “prison officials fail to protect against prison-related violence and when prison conditions fail to meet basic human needs.”
Many of the Mississippi prison system’s issues have come from radical budget cuts in recent years.
Hopefully, the suit will improve the living conditions of the inmates in Prison.