Jay Z is speaking out following Meek Mill's prison sentence for a probation violation. The rapper and head of Meek's management company, Roc Nation, penned an op-ed in The New York Times to defend his artist and critique the prison system for how it handles probation.
"As of 2015, one-third of the 4.65 million Americans who were on some form of parole or probation were black. Black people are sent to prison for probation and parole violations at much higher rates than white people," Jay says.
He continues, "The specifics of Meek’s case inspired me to write this. But it’s time we highlight the random ways people trapped in the criminal justice system are punished every day. The system treats them as a danger to society, consistently monitors and follows them for any minor infraction — with the goal of putting them back in prison."
Jay Z is a former drug dealer from Brooklyn. He has openly spoken about his friends who have been incarcerated.
Meek was sentenced to 2 to 4 years back in prison earlier this month for parole violations. The sentence has been challenged by many, with accusations by Meek's attorney that the judge presiding in his case has a personal vendetta out for him. The outrage has sparked a "Free Meek" campaign by Roc Nation.
"And that’s what we need to fight for in Philadelphia and across the country. The racial-justice organization Color of Change is working with people in Philadelphia to pressure the courts there and make that vision a reality," Jay Z continues. "Probation is a trap and we must fight for Meek and everyone else unjustly sent to prison."
Read his full op-ed here.
[Photo: Getty Images]