And once again, the issue of oppressive probation practices is the focal point here, with Philadelphia man Maurice Hudson among the cases highlighted in a new Inquirer piece by Samantha Melamed. As public defender Cheryl Brooks explained, Hudson "was essentially jailed for his poverty" by Brinkley.
In fact, when Hudson told Brinkley he was struggling to pay up the $1,941 he owed in outstanding court costs at a February hearing, she used a phrase that's a verbatim repeat of something she said during a 2017 Meek Mill hearing:
[Brinkley] said it was "absolutely necessary to vindicate the authority of the court."
Meek's friend and fellow criminal justice reform advocate Michael Rubin has since addressed Hudson's case, breaking it down for his 165,000 Intagram followers with a "Judge Genece Brinkley At It Again!" header on Tuesday.
"If this doesn't upset you I don't know what will!" he said in the caption of a clip taken from a recent appearance on a criminal justice reform panel. "Maurice was sent to prison for 18-36 months because he couldn't afford to pay $1,900 in fines while he has two kids at home with special needs . . . WE ARE ON THIS!!! And this is exactly why we created [the REFORM Alliance]."
Rubin added that how Hudson was being treated, as with any at the hands of such a practice, is simply "unacceptable."
Per The Inquirer, court fees across Pennsylvania average more than $1,000, even for defendants deemed indigent. Once variables such as probation or parole are factored in, the fees risk stacking up even higher, paving the way for a cycle that can easily become extremely difficult for someone to escape.
Meek's attorney Joe Tacopina, meanwhile, explained in a statement to Complex Tuesday how Hudson's case—one of many—represents a broader problem with criminal justice that's still in need of addressing. He's also calling for the removal of Brinkley from her court position.
"It's an absolute disgrace that Judge Genece Brinkley continues to sit on the bench and abuse her judicial power," Tacopina told Complex. "She's displayed unethical behavior in Meek's case and now she’s tormenting Maurice Hudson with a lengthy prison sentence—all because he couldn't afford to pay $1,900 in fines and has two children with special needs. Enough is enough. Judge Brinkley must be removed from her position once and for all."