(CBS News) The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on Wednesday opened an investigation into the conditions inside four state prisons in Mississippi.
The probe will determine whether the state’s department of corrections adequately protects inmates as well as investigate its suicide prevention methods and mental health care.
The four facilities include the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, the Southern Mississippi Correctional Institute, the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Since late December, 15 inmates have died inside Mississippi prisons. Most of the deaths occurred at the State Penitentiary at Parchman, the state’s oldest prison.
Rapper Yo Gotti and Team Roc, the charity group affiliate with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, filed a lawsuit against the state’s department of corrections on behalf of more than two dozen inmates. The suit claims people are dying because the state “has failed to fund its prisons.”