American Hip-hop stars, Jay Z and Meek Mill, joined by Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and others have launched Reform Alliance — a new criminal justice-reform initiative which will seek to lobby changes for probation and parole laws.
The group has also pledged $50 million and hired Van Jones as CEO.
Jay Z who was born and raised in Brooklyn New York has for the most of his career championed causes which he believes mainly affects young black males. He serves as an inspiration for MMG rapper, Meek Mill who infamously served five months in prison in Philly for probation violations on a decade-old drug and gun conviction from an allegedly tainted trial.
During the launch at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Meek told Page Six: “There are [millions] who never had a voice, and lost everything they had, because of the things that we are facing now and things we are trying to address.”
Meek also narrated how he even needed to first get permission from his probation officer to travel to New York City, underscoring the lack of freedom he still faces daily.
Speaking also at the event, Jay-Z noted that, while the issue of a flawed, biased system may be news to some of his fellow founders, he’s experienced it all his life: “This is how we grew up. We’re all prisoners to this. Until everyone’s free, no one’s free.” He also highlighted how broken households lead to a feeling of distrust in authority that sets too many people up for failure later in life within the system.
Reform Alliance aims to free 1 million people or more over five years.
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