Since Meek Mill’s incarceration, JAY-Z’s voice on the criminal justice system has continued to intensify through short bits during his past 4:44 concert to op-eds for the New York Times. Now, with a focus on the parole and bail systems in the U.S., the “Where I’m From” rapper plans to back his words with numbers.
According to TechCrunch, the 48-year-old’s label, Roc Nation, in partnership with First Round Capital invested $3 million into a “de-carceration” organization named Promise. The outlet helps those imprisoned for low-level misdemeanors re-enter society with the tools needed to stray from recidivism.
“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system. Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems,” a statement from JAY-Z reads. “Promise’s team, led by co-founder and CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”
On Promise’s end, helping people get out of jail is one step, but ensuring longstanding support is also a part of the equation. “Promise extends the scale and effectiveness of community supervision by balancing human touch and technology to improve long-term outcomes,” a statement on the organization’s website notes.
In a previous interview with VIBE, #cut50’s Jessica Jackson Sloan said tech creations can help change the recycled course of America’s parole/bail system, highlighting Appolition as another crusader. “Tech solutions are out there. It sounds like this app and other apps are showing us there are better ways to do things,” she said. “We need to be thinking outside of the box in order to transform the entire system.”