While the country battles the coronavirus epidemic, many were worried about the inmates currently locked down in prisons. JAY-Z and Meek Mill are teaming up to make sure they are not forgotten during these trying times.
Last week The REFORM Alliance announced its co-founders, JAY-Z and Meek Mill, partnered up with New York Times’ best selling author Shaka Senghor to donate 100,000 surgical masks to prisons across the United States. The goal is to help inmates, correctional officers, and healthcare professionals.
Prisons like New York City’s infamous Rikers Island will be receiving 50,000 masks CBS News reports with 2,500 being sent to Rikers’ medical staff. Just recently, jailed podcaster, Taxstone, described the dire situation the inmates are facing while in the NYC correctional facility in a lengthy post shared on social media.
Ross MacDonald, chief medical officer of New York City’s correctional health services, has called the spread of the virus in Rikers “a public health disaster unfolding before our eyes.”
Also receiving help is the Tennessee Department of Corrections, which is receiving 40,000 masks, and the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman will receive 5,000. Back in January, Jigga teamed up with Yo Gotti to launch a series of lawsuits against Parchamn following the death of multiple inmates.
In an Instagram post, the foundation stated:
Thank you to @meekmill, @shakasenghor, & everyone who helped us get 100k masks into prisons 🙌🏾 These masks will help protect incarcerated people & correctional staff in #Rikers, the Tennessee DOC, and #ParchmanPrison from #COVID19.
This is a team effort. If you can help us get more personal protective equipment into prisons.
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Thank you to @meekmill, @shakasenghor, & everyone who helped us get 100k masks into prisons 🙌🏾 These masks will help protect incarcerated people & correctional staff in #Rikers, the Tennessee DOC, and #ParchmanPrison from #COVID19. This is a team effort. If you can help us get more personal protective equipment into prisons, comment below or DM us. You can also take action by clicking the link in our bio ⬆️ Let's save lives today #noprisonpandemic
In a statement from REFORM Alliance CEO, Van Jones, he spoke on just how dire the situation in the prisons could become:
“Governors and people who run jails and prisons in this country need to take the pandemic in Rikers as a warning. We’re in danger of seeing prisons coast-to-coast turn into morgues. It is important to get medical supplies in, and it is equally important to get more human beings out. REFORM Alliance is working on both.”
This latest announcement is the JAY-Z’s latest effort to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Earlier in the month, it was announced the rapper and his protégé, Rihanna donated $1 million each to coronavirus relief.
Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty