/  04.03.2020

Meek Mill and JAY-Z are continuing their fight to secure the health and safety of prisoners and prison staff amidst the pandemic. On Friday (April 3), the official REFORM Alliance Instagram account announced the organization’s partnership with New York Times best-selling author Shaka Senghor in providing almost 100,000 protective masks to prisons across the country.

“Thanks to leadership from our friend [Shaka Senghor], we were able to rush 50,000 masks into Rikers Island (where there are nearly 500 confirmed cases of #COVID19 among incarcerated people and staff), 40,000 masks to the Tennessee DOC, and 5,000 masks to Parchman Prison in Mississippi,” a post from REFORM read. “As important as it is to surge medical supplies in, it’s MORE important to GET PEOPLE OUT. Please, help us by calling your Governor and signing our petition at the link in our bio.”

“Governors and people who run jails and prisons in this country need to take the pandemic in Rikers as a warning,” REFORM CEO Van Jones said in a statement. “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.”

With this new partnership, REFORM has sent 50,000 masks to New York’s Rikers Island Jail, 40,000 to the Tennessee Department of Correction and 5,000 to Parchman Prison in Mississippi. The latter facility has been the subject of Meek and Yo Gotti’s Team Roc-led movement, which has called out the prison’s hazardous conditions and unfair inmate treatment.

According to an Instagram post from Team Roc on Thursday (April 2), a positive case of Coronavirus has been identified at Parchman Prison, putting the inmates at risk. Team Roc further claims that prisoners are now on lockdown until April 19, despite the prison’s unit having 30 open barracks.

Last month, REFORM Alliance unveiled their S.A.F.E.R. Plan, aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. Through the plan, REFORM advised US governors to suspend probation visits, technical violation and all fines and fees, as well as provide extra precautions, protective gear and medical visits for inmates and prison staff. Most of all, REFORM advocates for the release of at-risk and elderly inmates to home confinement.


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