Jay-Z, Meek Mill, business leaders start criminal justice system reform organization

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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Darla Miles reports on the rappers' criminal justice system reform organization.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A new coalition was announced Wednesday in Manhattan to bring change to the American criminal justice system.

It is a $50 million commitment for criminal justice reform, and the goal is to change the laws for those caught up in the revolving door of minor parole violations.

The new initiative is called the Reform Alliance, and it will be led by CNN commentator and long-time criminal reform advocate Van Jones.

The project was rolled out Wednesday morning at John Jay College.

The founding partners include Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and rapper Jay-Z.

Rapper Meek Mill kicked off the announcement.

Mill has been campaigning for justice reform since he was jailed last year in Pennsylvania for a parole violation.

It was technical violation for popping a wheelie during a music video shoot. Ultimately, he was sentenced to two- to four years in jail for a parole violation regarding a 2008 arrest.

Mill was released after spending five months in jail - and after a major social media campaign to have him released.

Now, the 31-year-old rapper says he wants to speak for people who don't have a voice.

He says the current system ensnares young black people and aims to keep them incarcerated instead of opting to rehabilitate them.

"Every time I started to further my life with the music industry, traveling the world and traveling worldwide - and actually making money to be able to provide for my family and take them out of that ruthless environment - every year there was something that brought me back to ground zero, and it was probation. I always wondered what happened to the people that was in situations worse than mine," Mill said.


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