Pin It
Meek Mill, Jay-Z
courtesy of Instagram/@meekmill

Jay-Z and Meek Mill’s Reform Alliance is donating masks to US prisons

The organisation will provide 100,000 masks to help combat coronavirus

Jay-Z and Meek Mill’s justice reform organisation, the Reform Alliance, has said it will donate 100,000 face masks to prisons across the United States, where there is concern about coronavirus spreading at an alarming rate.

Speaking about those incarcerated in such facilities, the chief advocacy officer for the organisation, Jessica Jackson, tells CBS: “It’s a very vulnerable population.”

“We're really worried about the number of people coming in and out of the facility, and the fact that the people living there might be sitting ducks during this pandemic.”

An inability to follow social distancing guidelines, as well as a shortage of medical equipment, have made it difficult to stop the spread of the virus among prisoners and staff. A top doctor at New York’s Rikers Island has called the situation a “public health disaster unfolding before our eyes”, with one case growing to around 200 cases in just 12 days, according to The Guardian.

Despite the provision of masks from the Reform Alliance, and some facilities working to reduce their populations, Jackson adds: “We're still looking at jail and prison populations that are completely overcrowded to dangerous levels when you're looking at a pandemic like this head-on.”

The Reform Alliance campaigns more generally to reduce the vast number of people trapped in the US criminal justice system, targeting “laws, policies, and practices that perpetuate injustice”. 

Its advocacy began with the imprisonment of Meek Mill, who has vowed to fight for justice reform since his release. Jay-Z has long been outspoken about the prison system’s treatment of the rapper.