NEW YORK – A coalition of big names in sports and entertainment is attacking criminal justice reform.
Rappers Meek Mill and Jay-Z and owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and New England Patriots linked to the Super Bowl gathered Wednesday in New York to announce the launch of an organization that will push for changes state laws on probation and parole. .
The Alliance for Reform will be led by Van Jones, host and CNN activist, who served as an advisor to former President Barack Obama.
Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin said the group was spending $ 50 million.
Mill became a symbol for criminal justice reform activists after a Pennsylvania judge sentenced him to two to four years in prison for minor violations of probation conditions in a detention case weapons and drugs dating back a decade. He spent months in prison before a court ordered his release.
The artist said that the reformist initiative "is one of the most important things in my life" and that it speaks "for people who do not have a voice".
In the United States, about 2.2 million people are incarcerated and about 4.5 million are on probation or parole, according to government statistics.
"If you thought my case was unfair, there are millions of others who are facing more serious situations and who are caught in the system without committing crimes," said Mill, who will remain on probation until his death. In 2023. "With this alliance, we want to change obsolete laws, give hope to people and reform a system against us."
Jones said that the Reform Alliance is attacking the cycle of probation and parole violations that is taking people back to jail.
"It's the revolving door that keeps people coming back and forth," Jones said. "We will dismantle this revolving door."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the current system "is not good for America".
"We can make America better if we really solve this problem," he said.