The lawsuit against the Mississippi DOC was just one way in which the state has come under scrutiny in recent years for its racist past and present and for declining standards of living amongst its population. Most notably, the state capital, Jackson, is undergoing a sustained water crisis, as decades of neglect of the predominantly Black city’s water infrastructure have left thousands of its citizens without basic access to safe drinking water. Additionally, several Black people have been killed by police in the state in recent years, including 15 year old Jaheim McMillan. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was criticized for repeatedly celebrating April as Confederate Heritage Month even as he claims that systemic racism no longer exists in the United States.
These incidents demonstrate that Mississippi has a long way to go to achieve equality within the state and make life better for all of its citizens. The Roc Nation suit against the state was withdrawn without prejudice, which means that it could be resubmitted if Roc Nation later decides that the reforms are inadequate or short-lived. For now, though, Jay-Z and Yo Gotti seem satisfied that Mississippi is serious about reforms at Parchman,, one important step in improving the lives of all people within the state.