“I used to pray for times like this,” Philly’s own, Meek Mill told Governor Josh Shapiro right before the governor signed into law Pennsylvania’s new Probation Reform Bill. Indeed, for the homegrown superstar, the moment was a surreal one. A result of not only passion but also experience, an experience that prompted the rapper to fight for much-needed judicial change.
A Full Circle Moment
Meek Mill and his team at REFORM Alliance have made history. The Philadelphia native and REFORM co-chair Michael Rubin, and influencer/podcaster Wallo, were in attendance for a special ceremony with lawmakers and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro celebrating Senate bill 838 being signed into law.
“I can’t explain how much this bill means to me,” Meek said in a statement to iHeartRadio. “My experience on probation reflected millions of other stories that go unheard. So when the world saw my case and the absurdity of sending people to prison for non-criminal technical violations, it sparked a movement. It’s an honor and a blessing to see this change come to my home state. I am deeply grateful to the lawmakers and advocates for their hard work over many years to get this done. Thank you, truly.”
A full circle moment indeed. Michael Rubin reflected on witnessing how a broken system impacted Meek Mill.
“When I sat in that courtroom in 2017 and watched a judge sentence Meek to 2-4 years in prison for NOT committing a crime, my eyes were opened to how broken Pennsylvania’s probation system is,” Michael Rubin added. “We made a promise to not just free Meek but to change the system for millions of others. Probation has become a trapdoor to incarceration and a bureaucratic nightmare. Instead, supervision should redirect people to the services and support that they need to rebuild their lives. That’s exactly what this bill will help do. Thank you, Governor Shapiro, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, especially Senators Lisa Baker, Tony Williams, and Camera Bartolotta, and Representatives Jordan Harris and Sheryl Delozier, for your leadership on this.”
Reform Bill SB838 Signed Into Law
The new law aims to reduce the length of probation. Additionally, it aims to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated for non-criminal technical violations. Also, it aims to end counterproductive probation conditions and more.
After his release in 2018, rappers Meek Mill, Jay-Z, Rubin and others joined forces to create REFORM Alliance. This is yet another milestone in a mission that is far from complete.
You can learn more REFROM Alliance here.