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REFORM Alliance launches new campaign to increase probation and parole reform support

The campaign’s launch date (April 27) is the third-year anniversary of Meek Mill’s release from prison.

Meek Mill, Michael Rubin Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

The REFORM Alliance is hoping to increase overall support of parole and probation reform. On Tuesday (April 27), exactly three years after Meek Mill was released from jail, CEO Robert Rooks announced the launch of the Give Life Back campaign, which is intended to “inform, inspire, and activate people” to join the movement to transform the criminal justice system.

“Transforming the failed and costly parole and probation system to provide people with a meaningful and effective pathway to take care of themselves and their families would give life back to millions of people throughout this country,” Rooks said in a statement.

“The outcome of replacing the current broken system with one that is restorative, accountable and focused on making the right investments will mean increased stability, stronger families and safer communities.”

According to a press release from the organization, over 4.5 million of the 6.6 million Americans in the criminal justice system are currently on probation and parole, many of whom were sent back to jail after violating terms of their supervision. The alliance — who have long worked toward reforming the system — released Technically Illegal*, an accompanying 90-second film developed with creative agency Droga5 and directed by Malik Hassan Sayeed, to highlight the everyday struggles experienced by people in the justice system.

The probation system isn’t designed to rehabilitate, it’s intended to reincarcerate,” said Meek in a statement. “For our team at REFORM, it’s important to educate the public about these issues because no one should ever be sent back prison for non-violent, technical probation offenses like being late to a meeting with a probation officer or being unable to pay a fine.”

“To create meaningful change to our criminal justice system, we must also reform the cultural perception of probation,” added Michael Rubin, co-chair of REFORM Alliance. “Our hope is that REFORM’s Give Life Back initiative will continue to raise awareness to the flaws within our probation system and pave the way for a collaborative, bipartisan solution.”

The REFORM Alliance’s recently-launched Give Back campaign “kicks off a summer of activism for probation and parole reform,” per the press release. The organization will later introduce legislation to reform policies at the federal level.

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