Jay-Z is fighting for Mississippi inmates

Jay-Z is suing Mississippi prisons over inhumane conditions that have left multiple prisoners dead. We spoke with his attorney, Alex Spiro, to learn more.

Team Roc, the philanthropic division of Roc Nation, released graphic video footage depicting the inhumane conditions within Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman

Jay-Z and rapper Yo Gotti are suing Mississippi prison officials over alleged inhumane conditions that have left multiple prisoners dead. Jay-Z’s attorney Alex Spiro filed the suit on behalf of 29 inmates. Jay-Z has been an advocate for criminal justice reform. In January 2019, he launched the Reform Alliance with rapper Meek Mill aimed at changing parole and probation policies. Now his Mississippi lawsuit comes after at least 8 inmates have died at the Parchman prison in January 2020 alone. 3 men were killed by other inmates.

The conditions are bad partly because of the underfunding and the understaffing of the prison

“These civil rights cases are important for Mr. Carter and Roc Nation because they have a particular voice and the ability to make a change and they can draw on their vast resources to try to bring about civil rights change. When we realized that conditions in the Mississippi prisons were as dire as they were and that these folks have been forgotten, we felt that required urgent and aggressive action. The prisoners' lives are endangered principally for two reasons. One is that because of violence within the prison walls, there have been deaths and inmates have received injuries that have gone untreated because the staff cannot get them to medical care in time. And the second reason is the environmental conditions that the sewage and other infectious disease risks put their lives in mortal danger”, Jay-Z’s attorney Alex Spiro tells Brut.

Committed to fighting these issues

The Mississippi Department of Corrections has blamed gang violence for the deaths. But the lawsuit says the violence stems from underfunding, overcrowding, and a guard shortage. The lawsuit seeks damages for the prisoners and an order forcing the department to protect inmates from violence by increasing its staff size, and also provide safe and clean conditions free from filth and vermin.


01/24/2020 12:58 PMupdated: 01/31/2020 8:34 PM
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  • Luis R.
    18 hours

    Jay Z is another douchebag

  • Robert W.
    21 hours

    Justice for all parties that or being miss treated,

  • Debbra G.
    a day


  • Kimberly S.
    2 days

    Don't do the crime if you can't do the time jail was not meant to be comfortable so if your being a creepy sneaky conniving human being then I have no sympathy...god

  • Charmaine B.
    2 days

    Beautiful JayZ

  • Benjamin P.
    2 days

    Come on Jay, prisons are private companies now and as such the states should be doing that. All you're doing is helping a corporation get taxpayer funding. I see though the smoke screen. Take that money and open a school

  • Tijuana B.
    2 days

    Yeah jigger you on a great expedition 🤘🏽handle your business ✊🏽

  • ArLinda C.
    4 days

    It’s about time someone went down into Egypt and told Pharaoh let my people go. Modern day slavery still exist there. The movie Life was film there. It’s still like don’t cross that line Boss. However at the same time there are soooo many with Master and Doctorate degrees with no jobs. The real people there are some of the nicest humble down to earth people you will ever know.

  • Teddy G.
    4 days

    Thank you so much

  • Linda B.
    5 days

    God is so good. His time things were happening. I'm so glad that the rappers are stepping up. And I know it was going to make a difference. I'm so very proud of him. I'm so very proud. Thank you Father God. Thank you Father God. Thank you Father God.

  • Bonnie T.
    5 days

    We need a f*** you button

  • Bonnie T.
    5 days

    Let's not forget the victims

  • Leona K.
    6 days

    Thank God somebody cares about those horrible conditions

  • Patti D.
    6 days

    Kudos to Jay Z. Keep up the good work. Why is this still going on?

  • Paul O.
    02/11/2020 18:13

    Dudes a sgumbag , bottom line

  • Gloria B.
    02/11/2020 16:11


  • Yolanda P.
    02/11/2020 14:32

    Now that’s giving back and fighting for what’s right. A lot of people have said in the past that Jay Z does not give back or he doesn’t fight for his people, well this is an example of what he does among numerous other things. So give him some credit and respect.

  • Abdul H.
    02/11/2020 12:27


  • Andis C.
    02/10/2020 16:49

    Meanwhile mj is investing in prison to get more our people behind bars jump man is a sell out we make him a billionaire and he take a crap on us

  • Annie R.
    02/10/2020 15:11