Meek Mill is using his voice to change the criminal justice system. He became a national symbol for reform after a judge sentenced him in 2017 to prison time for a minor probation violation of a decade-old gun- and drug-possession conviction. He joined forces with Jay-Z and major league sports team owners, pledging $50 million to launch the “Reform Alliance” aimed at dramatically reducing the number of people who fall into similar situations.
Hov has written an op-ed for The New York Times in which he argues that Mill’s case “is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day.”
The Roc Nation head goes on to call probation “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.”
Speaking specifically to Mill’s situation, he reiterates the well-referenced fact that both the prosecutor and the parole officer recommended no additional jail time, suggestions Judge Brinkley ignored in her sentencing. Further highlighting how unjust Brinkley’s ruling is, JAY-Z points out that the Mills probation status stems from an 11-year-old case, and that the charges that led to the recent violations were all thrown out. JAY writes,
“In March, [Mill] was arrested after an altercation in a St. Louis airport. After video of what had actually happened was released, all charges were dropped against Meek. In August, he was arrested for popping a wheelie on a motorcycle on his video set in New York. Those charges were dismissed after he agreed to attend traffic school.”
Yes, there were no actual charges against Meek Mill, yet he still is being sent to jail “..It’s time we highlight the random ways people trapped in the criminal justice system are punished every day,” JAY-Z continues. “The system treats them as a danger to society, consistently monitors and follows them for any minor infraction — with the goal of putting them back in prison.”