‘Exposing Parchman’ Trailer Explores ‘Horrifying’ Conditions in Notorious Mississippi Prison (Video)

Exposing Parchman. (Credit: A&E)

The new A&E investigative documentary Exposing Parchman offers an inside look at conditions at Parchman, a controversial Mississippi state penitentiary.

The trailer released Wednesday includes secret cell phone videos recorded by inmates.

“We ain’t got no power,” one inmate says.

“We ain’t got no water,” another adds.

“This is what we live in, in Parchman,” another man says as water pours from a broken pipe.

“People are losing their lives and it’s being covered up,” adds Jay-Z, who is a producer on 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 directs.

A&E describes the film as “a vivid and horrifying portrait of how the American system of incarceration is able to break families, communities and our society. It is an intimate portrait of those whose lives are forever changed when they are caught up in the system.”

Parchman began to make national headlines in December 2019, amid gang fights, inmate deaths, and criticism about inhumane conditions.

Jay-Z and entrepreneur Mario “Yo Gotti” Mims filed federal lawsuits in 2020 on behalf of over 200 inmates. The lawsuits said conditions at the prison were “dire.”

The suits were dismissed in January of this year after the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) and lawyers for the inmates confirmed improvements were finally being made, including installing air conditioning, and upgrading the electrical, water and sewer systems.

According to a 2022 article in Mississippi Today, “temperatures inside the prison sometimes reach up to 145 degrees,” yet the state just started installing air conditioning last year.

Previous lawsuits filed by the ACLU against the Mississippi Department of Corrections alleged inadequate medical care, cruel and unusual punishment, cells that were flooded with sewage from broken plumbing, and insect infestations.

The lawsuits said conditions inside the prison triggered violence and rioting.

Parchman was built on a former plantation in 1901. The prison is the oldest in Mississippi.

Along with an interview with Jay-Z, the film on the prison includes conversations with Yo Gotti, family members of inmates, activists, and politicians.

Exposing Parchman premieres on Saturday, June 17 at 8pm ET/PT on A&E.

Watch the trailer below: