Meek Mill and Jay-Z team up for criminal justice reform
- Author: Kyle Peterson Jan 25, 2019,
Jan 25, 2019, 16:06
Meek Mill is joining forces with legendary rapper Jay-Z to push for changes to the criminal justice system.
Meek Mill became a symbol of reform following his unjust 2-4 year prison sentence for a probation violation in 2017.
Jay-Z has been vocal about Meek's case, writing in the New York Times while he was imprisoned. "I grew up with this issue and seeing people way worse off than me", he said, adding, "We're all prisoners to this because until everyone's free, no one's free".
Rappers Meek Mill and Jay-Z have launched Reform Alliance - a new criminal justice-reform initiative that will lobby to change probation and parole laws - with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and others.
In their remarks, both Mill and Rubin cited 2017 Bureau of Justice Statistics figures that show 2.1 million USA citizens are incarcerated and 4.5 million are either on probation or parole.
"I got caught up in the system and every time I started to further my life with the music industry - from traveling the world, performing worldwide and actually making money to be able to provide for my family and take them out of their ruthless environment, every year or two was something that always brought me back to ground zero and it was probation and I always wondered what happened to people in situations worse than mine", he said.
Jones will oversee the organization's mission to "drastically reduce the number of people who are under control of the criminal justice system while keeping communities safe by changing laws and public opinion".
JAY-Z applauded Meek for bringing attention to criminal justice reform, and shared his own experience growing up in Marcy Projects.
Criminal justice reform is one of the rare issues these days that has some bipartisan support in Congress and even has advocates in the White House, including President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The black represents the US prison system where many people face unjust sentences that do not fit the crimes for which they have been convicted.
The rapper was arrested in 2007 - he says wrongfully - for drug and gun charges, aged 19. They'll also use their platforms to share the work of artists and activists already working in this space. "But I think the inspiration is going to be as important as the legislation, and I think you're going to see people learning about this and going out there wanting to fix it".