The A&E Investigative Documentary Expose Parchman offers an inside look at conditions at Parchman, a controversial Mississippi state penitentiary.
The trailer released Wednesday includes secret cellphone videos recorded by inmates.
“We don’t have electricity,” said one detainee.
“We don’t have water,” adds another.
“This is where we live in Parchman,” another man says as water pours out of a broken pipe.
“People are losing their lives and it’s covered up,” adds Jay-Z, who produced the film.
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The three-hour documentary is produced by Roc Nation, Good Caper Content and Red Summer TV for A&E Network. Rahman Ali Bugg conducts.
A&E describes the film as “a vivid and horrifying portrait of how America’s incarceration system is capable of shattering families, communities and our society. It’s an intimate portrait of those whose lives are forever changed when they are caught in the system.
Parchman began making national headlines in December 2019, amid gang fights, inmate deaths and criticism of inhumane conditions.
Jay-Z and entrepreneur Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims filed federal lawsuits in 2020 on behalf of more than 200 inmates. The lawsuits said the conditions in the prison were “disastrous”.
The lawsuits were dismissed in January this year after the state Department of Corrections and inmates’ attorneys said improvements were finally being made, including installing air conditioning and updating electrical systems. , water and sewage.
According to a 2022 article in mississippi today“Temperatures inside the prison sometimes reach up to 145 degrees” before the state began installing air conditioning last year.
Earlier lawsuits filed by the ACLU against the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) alleged inadequate medical care, cruel and unusual punishment, cells flooded with sewage from broken plumbing, and insect infestations. The lawsuits said conditions inside sparked violence and rioting.
Parchman was built on an old plantation in 1901. The prison is the oldest in Mississippi.
Along with an interview with Jay-Z, the prison film includes conversations with Yo Gotti, family members of inmates, activists and politicians.
Expose Parchman premieres Saturday, June 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.
Watch the trailer below:
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