Back in February, the two connected on behalf of 29 inmates who claim that their “lives are in peril,” because of “inhumane conditions” and the immense amount of violence in prison. The lawsuit was filed Mississippi federal court, Gotti’s hometown, by Hov’s lawyer because reportedly, inmates “are dying because Mississippi has failed to fund its prisons, resulting in prisons where violence reigns because prisons are understaffed.”
Now, along with Hov’s philanthropic arm, Team Roc, have secured legal representation for 200 inmates at Mississippi State Penitentiary and are suing the prison’s new Department of Corrections Commissioner, Nathan Burl Cain, and Centurion which is the healthcare provider for the Mississippi prison system.
“The situation in Parchman is dire. More and more of the incarcerated population are reaching out for help and pleading for immediate medical attention, especially as the coronavirus threatens their lives,” Gotti said in a press release. “Mississippi Governor Reeves, Commissioner Burl Cain, and Centene — as the parent company of Parchman’s healthcare provider Centurion — can’t continue to neglect this tragedy and let the death toll rise. We will hold them accountable and fight for the rights of the incarcerated.”
Team Roc gave all the inmates COVID-19 questionnaires, and unsurprisingly, many of them said they were suffering from symptoms that aligned with coronavirus and weren’t receiving proper medical treatment. That same questionnaire revealed that social distancing rules weren’t be followed, and PPE such as masked weren’t readily available.
Amid the coronavirus, one of the most problematic places for it to spread is in prisons. According to CBS, a research letter, recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that inmates are 3 times more likely to die and 5.5 times more likely to become infected by the virus.