Michigan Passes Prison Reform Laws Endorsed By Meek Mill And Jay-Z

On Monday (January 4), the Michigan State Legislature passed several laws that reform the state’s parole and probation system. 

Both Meek Mill and Jay-Z advocated for the three bills through their REFORM Alliance, which is headed up by political commentator Van Jones.  

The bills, SB 2048, SB 1051, and SB 1051 effectively reduced probation sentences adults in Michigan face from five to three years. The laws also block extensions on misdemeanor or felony prison sentences.

“The bipartisan legislation will bring meaningful change and opportunity to thousands of individuals and families across the state of Michigan,” Jones said in a press release shared by Billboard

According to a report by the Prison Policy Initiative Michigan has an incarceration rate that nearly outpaces the rate of the country, imprisoning 641 per 100,000 people. An estimated 172,000 people are on probation in the state. 

The legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will help limit jail time people face for probation violations and will assess the needs of an individual in determining parole or other supervision sentences. 

“We thank Governor Whitmer for her fearless commitment and leadership to bolstering her state’s criminal justice system in a fair and balanced way. We look forward to continuing to work with her on impactful reform measures in the future,” Jones added. The legislation measures put the state on track to reduce the number of people in contact with the probation system by eight percent. 

The REFORM Alliance was launched in 2019 by Meek Mill, Jay-Z, New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, and billionaire philanthropist Robert Smith. Others, including partners from the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets Michael Rubin and Clara Wu Tsai, respectively, also helped launch the initiative.

Photos: Getty Images

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