Since getting out of an unjust prison sentencing, Meek Mill has made it his mission to speak on the need for criminal justice reform and has made more noise with that than even his music.
Continuing his crusade the Philadelphia rapper penned an op-ed for The New York Times in which he acknowledges that his celebrity helped him avoid the fate that many civilians do not but promises to use his shine to help create change.
I’m blessed — I’m busy recording an album and catching up with friends and fans as my family and I make plans to celebrate the holidays. It’s a far cry from last year, when the season passed with me behind bars. I send my prayers to all those who are still in the web of the system: Please know you are not forgotten…
We, as a free and democratic society, must do better. Since my release, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several lawmakers such as Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and I’m determined to use my platform to help those without the resources to make their voices heard.
As you may or may not know Meek Mill was sentenced to prison for popping a wheelie on a motorcycle while on probation by a judge who seemed to have an axe to grind with the Philly rapper. After months of fighting and getting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court involved, Meek was finally granted bail and able to regain his freedom and take up the fight that many shy away from.
In the piece he tries to come up with logical solutions for a criminal justice system that seems hellbent on locking up people of color almost as quick as Donald Trump can make up sh*t out of thin air saying, they should introduce legislation that allows people on probation to earn a reduction in probation time for good behavior so that entire swaths of people aren’t spending the majority of their adult lives on probation as I did.
The money saved from imprisoning fewer people could then be used for employment programs and mental health counseling that would equip the formerly incarcerated with the tools for reintegration into society.
Above all, we need to make sure punishments actually fit crimes. Mine certainly didn’t. But I am choosing to see my situation in a different light, to see that I’m incredibly fortunate. A higher power has put me in a position to help fix this — to help clean up this persistent stain on our society.
We can only hope this new democratic majority in the house will take up the issue and create the actual change needed to address this issue.