In the months since Meek Mill was released from prison after a lengthy — and as-yet-unfinished — battle with the criminal justice system, the Philadelphia rapper has been an outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform, appearing on television and writing a New York Times editorial to address the need for prison reform, especially cash bail and probation, which has kept Meek under the system’s thumb since his teens. He and Jay-Z, one of his staunchest supporters during his incarceration, also linked up to form a criminal justice reform organization called REFORM Alliance, releasing the details of the organization in a press release today.
REFORM Alliance counts its mission as advancing “criminal justice reform and [eliminating] outdated laws that perpetuate injustice, starting with probation and parole.” The founding members and board also include Kraft Group CEO and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Third Point LLC founder Daniel S. Loeb, Vista Equity Partners founder Robert F. Smith, and Galaxy Digital founder Michael E. Novogratz. The CEO for REFORM is journalist Van Jones, and the founders have collectively pledged $50 million to its launch.
Meek Mill explained the importance and need for prison reform in a statement, writing, “Creating the REFORM Alliance is one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life. If you thought my case was unfair, there are millions of others dealing with worse situations and caught up in the system without committing crimes. With this alliance, we want to change outdated laws, give people hope and reform a system that’s stacked against us.”