Earlier this month 227 inmates at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman were added to a first class lawsuit against the MS Department of Corrections over its appalling treatment of the inmates. On Tuesday (July 28), Centurion served notice that it would be terminating it’s contract with the Mississippi Department of Corrections on October 5, 2020, according to a report by Pitchfork.
In a memo to the Greenville division of the United States District court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Centurion CEO Steven H. Wheeler wrote to Cain that “we do not believe we can further improve the effectiveness of our level of care without additional investment from the Department in correctional staffing and infrastructure along the lines of what we have already recommended.”
The Lawsuit filed by Jay-Z, Yo Gotti, and Roc Nation targets Commissioner Nathan Burl Cain and the prison’s healthcare provider, Centurion for running a “medieval” style prison. There have been nine inmate deaths in Parchman as a consequence of suicides, homicides, and miscellaneous cases. Statewide, there have been at least eighteen deaths throughout the Mississippi prison system.
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Inmates describe grueling conditions inside #ParchmanPrison Unit 29, and their testimonies are harrowing. Many cells have no power or electricity, no working toilets, holes in the ceiling, and cockroach and rodent infestations. Some inmate suicides and homicides are being classified as “natural deaths”. Read more at @cbsnews #msprisonreformnow
The lawsuit also claimed that kitchen facilities and food services at the prison were unfit, alleging that a Mississippi Health Department inspection in 2019 had found “containers of dried, spoiled and molded food, flies and other pests in the kitchen,” among other “nauseating” conditions.
Marcy Croft, an attorney with Team ROC, delivered the following statement, referencing the Centene, Centurion’s parent company:
”We hope that Centene’s decision to end its relationship with the Mississippi Department of Corrections sends a clear message to Governor Tate Reeves—it’s time to invest in the health and well-being of the people in your prisons. There is no excuse for the 53 deaths across the Mississippi prison system over the past several months, many of which were preventable. We will not stop until the incarcerated receive consistent and competent medical care, especially now with the COVID-19 crisis. This must be a priority.”