Jay-Z-funded lawsuits end as Mississippi improves prison

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Attorneys hired by Jay-Z and other entertainers have ended two lawsuits they filed on behalf of Mississippi inmates in 2020 over what they called squalid living conditions at the state’s oldest prison. The Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman came under Justice Department scrutiny after outbursts of deadly violence in late 2019 and early 2020. The lawsuits were dismissed Jan. 13 after the inmates’ attorneys and the state Department of Corrections said improvements have been made during the past three years at Parchman. Those include installing air conditioning in most of the prison and updates to the electrical, water and sewer systems.