Jay Z made this past Father's Day (June 18) a memorable one for many families across the country. The rapper turned mogul assisted in bailing men who were incarcerated out.
Hov wrote an open letter about this initiative for TIME. In the letter, he spoke about why he's so determined to amend the bail bond system for the better. The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the entire world and Jay wants to fix this. "If you're from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you're unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can't afford bail," Jay wrote. "Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime."
Hov said that he became obsessed with changing the prison system and bail bond industry after he worked on the Kalief Browder docuseries. Jay continued: "Kalief's family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22.
"Sandra Bland was also forced to post bail after her minor traffic infraction in Prairie View, Texas, led to a false charge of assaulting a public servant (the officer who arrested her was later charged with perjury regarding the arrest). She was placed in a local jail in a pre-incarcerated state. Again, she was never convicted of a crime."
That's when Jay spoke about the Color of Change and Southerners On New Ground organizations that helped to bail women out of jail on Mother's Day. “As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry,” Jay said.
You can read Jay Z's entire letter here.
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