REFORM Alliance announced a Give Life Back campaign Tuesday, aimed to “inform, inspire, and activate” people to engage in the U.S. parole and probation reform movement.
CEO Robert Rooks made the announcement alongside a 90-second film Technically Illegal*, which was developed with creative agency Droga5 and directed by Malik Hassan Sayeed to highlight the “probation trap.”
Give Life Back’s launch arrives on the three-year anniversary co-chair Meek Mill’s release from his prison sentence after he was sentenced to 2-4 years in late 2017 for popping a wheelie. His sentencing led to both the #FreeMeek movement and REFORM’s formation.
“The probation system isn’t designed to rehabilitate, it’s intended to reincarcerate,” Meek says. “For our team at REFORM, it’s important to educate the public about these issues because no one should ever be sent back prison for non-violent, technical probation offenses like being late to a meeting with a probation officer or being unable to pay a fine.”
Co-chair Michael Rubin added that reforming the “cultural perception of probation” is required to create “meaningful” change in the U.S. criminal justice system.
“Our hope is that REFORM’s Give Life Back initiative will continue to raise awareness to the flaws within our probation system and pave the way for a collaborative, bipartisan solution.”
REFORM Alliance also intends to introduce legislation to reform such policies at the federal level, as nearly 25% of state prison admissions each year are due to supervision violations, according to the CSG Justice Center.
“Transforming the failed and costly parole and probation system to provide people with a meaningful and effective pathway to take care of themselves and their families would give life back to millions of people throughout this country,” Rooks says.