Meek Mill and Jay-Z’s REFORM Alliance helps pass reform laws in Michigan

"This is a tremendous victory"

The State Legislature for Michigan has passed a set of laws that were advocated for by Meek Mill and Jay-Z‘s criminal justice reform organisation REFORM Alliance.

On Monday (January 4), three new laws were passed that will significantly reshape the US state’s probation and parole system.

Laws SB 1048SB 1050 and SB 1051 will reduce adult felony probation sentences in Michigan from five years to three years, prevent endless extensions on misdemeanour and felony probation terms, limit jail sanctions for technical probation violations and require parole supervision terms to be tailored to a person’s individual risks and needs.

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Now that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed the bills into law, Michigan, who had the sixth highest rate of probation supervision in the US, is on pace to decrease its overall caseloads by 8.4%.

Meek Mill and Jay-Z teamed up with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin, Brooklyn Nets partner Clara Wu Tsai and more to launch REFORM Alliance in January 2019.

Jay-Z
(L-R) Robert Kraft, Jay-Z and Michael Rubin. CREDIT: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

“It’s encouraging to watch bipartisan leaders from different states recognize the need for fair and rational legislation focused on creating second chances for those in the criminal justice system,” Rubin said in a press statement. “We’re incredibly thankful for Governor Whitmer for signing these bills into law and for the coalition of groups that supported us throughout this process. This is a tremendous victory for REFORM and a strong way to start 2021.”

REFORM CEO Van Jones added: “This bipartisan legislation will bring meaningful change and opportunity to thousands of individuals and families across the state of Michigan. We thank Governor Whitmer for her fearless commitment and leadership to bolstering her state’s criminal justice system in a fair and balanced way. We look forward to continuing to work with her on impactful reform measures in the future.”

In December, Meek Mill and Rubin started a $2 million scholarship fund to provide financial relief for underprivileged children in their hometown of Philadelphia.

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Meanwhile, Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation has launched a new book publishing imprint, Roc Lit 101.

As The Associated Press reports, the company has partnered with Random House for the venture which will present “books at the dynamic intersection of entertainment and genre-defying literature”.

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