Rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill have teamed up with CNN anchor Van Jones and other high-profile partners to form a new organization aimed at overhauling the American criminal justice system, examining the recurring issues of probation and parole.
Jones, in fact, will serve as CEO of the REFORM Alliance, a newly formed group with a mission “to dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system — starting with probation and parole. To win, we will leverage our considerable resources to change laws, policies, hearts and minds.”
In addition to those three, other luminaries involved with founding the alliance include Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Third Point LLC founder Daniel S. Loeb, Galaxy Digital founder Michael E. Novogratz and Vista Equity Partners founder Robert F. Smith, with the founding partners collectively pledging $50 million to launch the organization.
Mill, who is REFORM’s co-chair, was imprisoned in 2017 due to a technical parole violation stemming from an earlier arrest at age 19 on gun and drug charges, with Mill continuing to maintain he was wrongfully arrested. Jay-Z, Jones, Rubin and Kraft were all vocally supportive of Mill during his incarceration, calling for his release until he was finally freed in April 2018.
“Creating the REFORM Alliance is one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life,” Mill said in a statement. “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 With this alliance, we want to change outdated laws, give people hope and reform a system that’s stacked against us.”
More information can be found on the REFORM Alliance website.