Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has donated $10 million to REFORM Alliance, the prison reform non-profit founded by Meek Mill, JAY-Z and Michael Rubin.
The funds will go towards improving COVID-19 relief efforts in prisons. REFORM will purchase more than 10 million surgical masks and other protective equipment to distribute to jail facilities in all 50 states.
“I’m grateful REFORM exists,” Dorsey said in a statement. “The criminal justice system needs to change. COVID-19 adds to the injustices and REFORM is best suited to help.”
“This generous donation from Jack and #startsmall is an absolute game-changer,” REFORM CEO Van Jones said. “Not only will this gift help us protect millions from the threat of COVID-19, but this level of support from a tech titan marks a turning point for the criminal justice reform movement. It’s truly an honor to call Jack an ally in this fight [and] be able to provide masks to every prison in America and potentially save tens of thousands of lives.”
A few weeks ago, REFORM partnered with Madonna’s Ray of Light Foundation to send 100,000 masks out to inmates and prison staff.
“More than two million lives in prisons across America are currently at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rubin said in a press release.
“It’s absolutely crucial that we protect our inmates and prison staff, especially since social distancing guidelines are difficult to abide by in these facilities,” he continued. “REFORM remains committed to protecting one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom are currently incarcerated for technical probation violations, and we’re grateful for the support of our partners in this endeavor.”
As of today (May 11), eight out of ten of the Coronavirus hotspots in the country are contained within prisons. At Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, over 80 percent of the inmates are infected with COVID-19.