REFORM Alliance, the organisation that both Jay and Meek have been actively involved with, has teamed up with advocate Shaka Senghor to send the masks to correctional facilities across the US as a number of states suffer from a shortage of medical supplies to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
40,000 masks will be sent to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, 5,000 will go to Parchman and 50,000 will be sent to Rikers Island. Another 2,500 will be given to a Rikers medical facility.
Rikers Island Correctional Facility is one of the biggest prison complexes in the world and has recently suffered from a surge of coronavirus cases in New York. A reported 231 inmates and 223 staff members at New York City jails have been infected with the virus as of last Thursday (April 2).
“We are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis,” Jessica Jackson, chief political officer at REFORM Alliance, told ABC News. “There are horror stories coming from people in jails and prisons across the country. REFORM Alliance is seeking help to get medical supplies into correctional facilities, and we’re also pushing Governors across the country to enact our SAFER Plan recommendations to get people out quickly and safely.”
Speaking to CBS, Jackson added: “Overwhelmingly the response was, ‘please provide the masks, we really need them.’ They want to protect the people working and living in the facilities. I think Rikers Island especially, they are very aware the virus has hit and so many lives are now at risk.”
The rapper’s charity organisation – FreeWishes Foundation – teamed up with Atlanta Sewing Style to make masks for healthcare workers and patients who have been hospitalised with COVID-19.