Maurice Hudson is headed home. The 29-year-old Pennsylvania man has spent months behind bars because he was unable to pay off $1,941 in outstanding court costs. Hudson's story, which was highlighted in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer report, highlighted the state's broken probation system and the ways poverty is criminalized.
The case has since caught the attention of 76ers partner Michael Rubin and Meek Mill, who have called on Hudson's release from prison. After visiting the inmate at the State Correctional Institution-Phoenix, Rubin and Meek spoke Hudson's legal battle and its similarities to Meek's previous case. In 2017, the rapper was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating the terms of his decade-long probation. Meek and Hudson were both sentenced by Genece Brinkley, a Commons Pleas Court judge who has been accused of violating judicial ethics.
"For me to see people in Pennsylvania going to prison for not committing crimes is something I can't understand.... I think [Hudson] is a good person," Rubin told reporters after visiting Hudson this month. "He's got three kids, wants to take care of his kids. And instead of being with family and taking care of his kids, he's in prison for being poor."
On Thursday night, Rubin took to Instagram to announce Hudson would be free as soon as next week.
"The PA Supreme Court just ordered the release of Maurice Hudson, who was sentenced to 18-36 months in prison (by the same judge as Meek) because he couldn’t afford to pay $1,900 in fines even though he hasn’t committed a new crime in 10 years. I’m grateful that he’ll get to be home and spend Thanksgiving with his family," Rubin wrote, before thanking the REFORM alliance, Hudson's attorneys, and the Inquirer. "Maurice is another example of why we need to change the probation laws in Pennsylvania – so you can’t go to prison when you don’t commit a crime!"
You can read Rubin's full announcement below.
REFROM Alliance CEO Van Jones spoke to TMZ about Hudson's incarceration, saying it was another example of Judge Brinkley's questionable judgement.
"He's been on probation now for 10 years. He's been crime-free, no trouble. In fact, he's been helping to raise his two special-needs daughters," Jones said. "But he works as a janitor, doesn't make a lot of money ... this horrific judge abused a law in Pennsylvania to put him in jail for up to three years. The DAs didn't want it to happen, the defenders didn't want it to happen. But when you have a bad judge and you have bad laws, you get bad outcomes."
He continued: "... We want to get rid of this bad judge. We gotta get rid of these bad laws so people don't go back to prison who are not even comitting new crimes."