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Meek Mill’s REFORM Alliance is making moves to change the probationary system in Pennsylvania.
The initiative formed by Mill, Michael Rubin, Robert Kraft, JAY-Z, Van Jones, and others, is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill in the Pennsylvania legislature that will reform the way that probation is handled in the state by setting strict guidelines about sentencing and credits for good behavior. Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) asked for the bill, which is titled the Smart Probation & Parole Act (HB1555), to be considered in the House Judiciary Committee on Friday.
The bill would set probation sentence limits at 2 years for misdemeanors and 5 years for felonies, standardize the credit received for things like getting degrees or completing vocational training and reduce the amount of technical violations that can be used to lock people up.
“I’ve been on probation in Pennsylvania my entire adult life, for over a decade. Every aspect of my life is restricted," Meek explained. "We need to pass HB1555 and make sure individuals in Pennsylvania never experience confining and oppressive barriers that make it nearly impossible to re-enter society, travel to a job or even provide for their families.”
Mill is sponsoring the bill after being sent back to prison a full 10 years after his initial offense thanks to a long probation and the leeway that judges are given in the state. The jailing of Mill lead to a nationwide call for reforming the probation system. Since he’s been released, he’s used his platform and the increased attention to push for change.
"Pennsylvania is one of the worst offenders when it comes to having too many people on probation and parole — for way too long,” said Van Jones. “HB1555 introduces common sense solutions that favor rehabilitation over re-imprisonment. I hope this bill returns Pennsylvania to being the beacon of American independence it could be.”
Our goal is simple - Get 1 million people out of the criminal justice system. After witnessing the injustices that took place with @meekmill - it was a complete wake up call. It’s time to change a broken system starting TODAY. Proud to be on this team! #Reform #FightDifferent pic.twitter.com/1ZqRYJjP9L— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) January 23, 2019