Meek Mill and JAY-Z’s REFORM Alliance has partnered with Madonna’s Ray of Light Foundation, Cash Warren’s Pair of Thieves company and a few other organizations to send out their second donation of 100,000 masks to protect inmates and prison staff amidst the pandemic.
“More than two million lives in prisons across America are currently at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” REFORM Co-Chair and founding partner Michael 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.”
Earlier this month, the organization partnered with author Shaka Senghor to donate 95,000 protective masks to three prison facilities, including New York’s Rikers Island Jail, the Tennessee Department of Corrections and Parchman Prison in Mississippi. With the new donation haul, REFORM has provided masks for the Cook County Jail and the Illinois Department of Corrections, which has recently suffered upwards of 600 positive COVID-19 diagnoses.
“Our response to this crisis will be judged by how we protect our most vulnerable citizens,” REFORM Co-Founder Michael Novogratz added. “That includes those who are incarcerated, their lives matter too, and we need to start acting like it.”
“Helping others has always been part of our DNA at Pair of Thieves,” Cash Warren said in the release. “So when the team from REFORM outlined how quickly COVID-19 has spread amongst the incarcerated and those who work in and around prisons, we knew we had to help.”
Prior to its mask donations, REFORM also unveiled its S.A.F.E.R. Plan, which advised governors about the temporary suspension of probation visits and fees, the increase of safety and health precautions in prisons and alternatives to imprisonment.