Jay Z, Meek Mill, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, and others are teaming up to create a criminal justice reform organization. Details of this new coalition, including the CEO of the group, will apparently be released in a press conference on Wednesday.
Meek Mill became involved in the organization after his own negative experience with the criminal justice system. A controversial ruling involving the rapper took place in November of 2017. Mill was publicly sentenced to 2-4 years in prison for breaking probation on a decade-old drug and gun charge. The judge who sentenced Mill had an alleged personal vendetta with the Championships rapper.
Mill reached out for support for his freedom from the rap community before his April 2018 prison release. Jay-Z wrote a New York Times op-ed in support of Meek Mill’s freedom. In the op-ed, Jay-Z described how often unjust sentences stem from probation violations and the “absurdity of the criminal justice system.”
“What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day,” wrote Jay-Z. “I saw this up close when I was growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew.”
Meek Mill was vocal during the public’s attention of Cyntonia Brown’s court case as well. It seems likely that more details of the criminal justice reform organization will follow Wednesday’s press conference, but it’s a logical next step for a group of people that have long been aware of the perils of the current system.