Meek Mill, Jay-Z Start $50M Criminal Justice Reform Alliance

Puma Clyde Court Reform

The group has initially pledged $50 million to the endeavor.

"We looked to get together a diverse group of people who had three things in common", Rubin says.

In 2017, Mill was sentenced to serve two to four years in state prison for a minor probation violation after a decade-old gun and drug possession conviction.

In a news conference and presentation Wednesday at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the co-founders explained their goals and initiatives, which includes removing one million people from the criminal justice system within five years.

The hip-hop superstars appeared on stage in NY on Wednesday (Jan. 23), alongside New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, and political activist Van Jones, to announce the launch of the REFORM Alliance.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who attended the event, said he was a supporter of criminal justice reforms that are "fair, help our system work better and smarter, and save crucial taxpayer dollars while balancing public safety and victim concerns". "Our rate of incarceration is more than five times higher than the rest of the world", he went on to point out. 'We're all prisoners to this, because until everyone is freed, no one is freed'. Since 2007, the artist had numerous interactions with the criminal justice system in and around his hometown of Philadelphia. "I'm here to speak on behalf of those people who don't have a voice".

Jay-Z and Meek Mill pledge $50m to free prisoners

Do you think they will be successful or not?

"You grow up around murder on a daily basis, you grow up in drug-infested neighbourhoods". For Michael Rubin, the co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the executive chairman of TK Fanatics, Mill's case was eye-opening. Months after the Philadelphia Supreme Court ordered his release in April, the rapper continues to make good on his promise.

There are some 6.6 million people in the United States criminal justice system, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 4.5 million of them on parole or probation.

"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.

Once he was free man again, Meek immediately focused his attention on criminal justice reform in the US, insisting his imprisonment was unjust and unnecessary.

Jones had praised last month's criminal justice reform measure that cleared Congress with bipartisan support.

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