No parent wants to see their children locked away behind bars. Russell Simmons is no exception to the rule. The hip hop figurehead never imagined his daughters in prison. During Aoki and Ming’s lives, he’s never once imagined them rocking an orange jumpsuit. Simmons penned a passionate essay to share his stance on the prison pipeline for kids their age in their community and announce his position as the Executive Producer of a new television ad from Californians for Safety and Justice.
Here’s a little of what it read:
For far too many children who live just a few miles away from where my daughters are being raised in Los Angeles, going to prison is a norm. And this standard is sadly reinforced by the investment, or lack thereof, of our taxes in their future. In the state of California, we now spend $62,300 per prison inmate per year while only $9,200 to educate a child in a K-12 school. If that statistic doesn’t disturb you, consider this: since 1984, the state has built 22 state prisons while only one new University of California school. As a taxpaying citizen, I find it deplorable that our priorities are focused on expanding our prison system rather than expanding the mind of a child. As I have stated many times in the past, I have no problem paying taxes, as long as it serves to uplift people and keep them out of the justice system, rather than further create space to put more into that system.
Read it in full over on Global Grind.
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