Shawn Carter, American rapper and entrepreneur better known as Jay-Z, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 29 inmates in Mississippi, who claim that their “lives are in peril,” due to the “inhumane conditions” in prison.
The business mogul is said to have instructed his lawyers to sue two Mississippi prison officials on behalf of the inmates, who claim the staff did nothing to stop the violence that sent five prisoners to an early grave — in the past two weeks.
According to documents obtained by NBC News, the lawsuit, filed through Team Roc, the philanthropic arm of Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s record label, on Tuesday, at the US district court in Greenville, Mississippi, said “these deaths are a direct result of Mississippi’s utter disregard for the people it has incarcerated and their constitutional rights.”
“The underfunding also forces people held in Mississippi’s prison to live in squalor, endangering their physical and mental health,” the letter read.
The lawsuit claimed that the attacks on the prison were due to improper funding as well as acute shortage of personnel birthing “prisons where violence reigns” and an atmosphere where the “unthinkable” happens.
It also alleged that the state’s prisons do not even “provide the basic necessities, such as a place to sleep” and claims that inmates are subject to flooding, overflows of raw sewage, black mold, rat infestations and lack of running water and electricity “for days at a time.”
“Roc Nation and its philanthropic arm, Team Roc, demand that Mississippi take immediate steps to remedy this intolerable situation,” it added.
It therefore, seeks damages for the inmates while also pressuring the Mississippi department of corrections to address inherent challenges facing the prison system.
Born in 1969, the rapper has enjoyed an impressive career strides as a music artiste; record producer; and record executive, winning 22 Grammys.
Aside his blissful career, Jay-Z has also been a strong advocate of social activism among people of colour.
His website reads: “We face issues that impact those whose voices have not been heard.”
Last year, he became the first first hip-hop artist to attain billionaire status, according to Forbes.