Jay-Z and Meek Mill partner to give 10 million surgical masks to prisons

Nii Ntreh May 12, 2020
Jay-Z and Meek Mill have recently partnered for purposes of prison reform and a music record label. Photo Credit: Sharief Ziyadat via Variety.com

Rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill will donate 10 million surgical masks to correctional facilities across the United States in an effort to guard against the spread of the coronavirus in jails and prisons.

The surgical mask donation includes a $10 million support from the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey who last month committed a billion dollars through a PLC that will invest in education and health.

Jay-Z and Meek Mill are carrying out their philanthropy through their non-profit REFORM Alliance. The criminal justice organization was constituted in the wake of Meek Mill’s own troubles with the American judicial system.

Bob Pillon, the president of REFORM Alliance, in an interview with CBS, explained the need to pay attention to the 2.3 million people locked up by the justice system.

“This is 2.3 million Americans that don’t usually have the loudest voice. That’s why we’re doing this, to give that population a voice and answer their call to be treated like humans,” Pillon said.

On his part, Dorsey added “I’m grateful REFORM exists. The criminal justice system needs to change. COVID-19 adds to the injustices, and REFORM is best suited to help.”

America’s correctional facilities have had to deal with a growing rate of coronavirus infections among inmates. A significant number of these institutions have had to cut their populations by a quarter, according to the Prsion Policy Initiative.

In March, Los Angeles county released approximately 1, 700 inmates to control the spread of coronavirus as the pandemic continues to ravage states across the U.S. 

County sheriff Alex Villanueva said the release of these inmates will drastically reduce the county’s jail population by 10 percent.

The United States alone accounts for a third of worldwide coronavirus infections with about 1.38 million confirmed cases. Over 81,000 have died but experts say they expect the numbers to increase as states reopen their economies after short-term lockdowns.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: May 12, 2020


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