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Meek Mill says his nonprofit aims to 'change' judicial reform

Meek Mill Transforming the Justice System

Rapper Meek Mill said his time on probation didn't "get a fair shot at life that the average young black man should have." With the Reform Alliance, the singer said she wanted to "help and make a difference" for others in similar situations. Many others like me couldn't escape," Meek Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, told CBS Morning Thursday. 

2008, Meek Mill was convicted and was charged with assault in 2017. A judge sentenced him to five months in prison for a probation violation, and the following year he was granted bail and a retrial on his 2008 conviction. Meek Mill eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and all other charges were dropped. 

In 2019, Meek Mill went through his own experience with Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Create a teamed Reform Alliance

"We have to fix the underlying system," Rubin, who is also co-chair of the nonprofit, told CBS Morning on Thursday. "We can't fix this all at once. It's a systemic problem. Millions of people today are on probation and shouldn't be on probation."

An estimated 4.5 million people nationwide were on parole or probation in 2020, according toresearchfrom the research and advocacy group Human Rights Watch. 

Mr Meek Mill said that simple offenses such as smoking marijuana, not contacting a probation officer in a particular way, not being hired for a job, or not finishing school could result in such situations. said it could send some people to prison. 

"I used to get voicemails," he recalls Meek Mill. "'Can you pick up the kids from school?' She said, 'No, if you pick the kids up, I'll send you to jail.'"

Rubin said the Reform Alliance had set a goal of getting at least 1 million people on or under probation. He "must not" parole from the system. He noted that some people rightfully "belong in prison" and that the group was not focused on getting rid of these people, but was providing them with resources.

So far, the organization has helped pass 16 bills related to the issue in 10 states, Rubin said. Recently, a law that the organization fought went into effect in Florida. This allows people to shorten their probation period by earning credits by attending school or working at least 30 hours a week. 

Tori B. Powell
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Tori B. Powell is a breaking news reporter for CBS News. tori.powell@viacomcbs.com

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