With support from both the Democrat and Republican parties, Meek Mill‘s REFORM Alliance introduced a bill proposal aimed to reshape Pennsylvania’s probation system. On Tuesday (April 2), the Philadelphia native took to the city’s Municipal Services Building to provide details on the initiative. Per TMZ, the “Trauma” rapper was joined by REFORM’s CEO Van Jones, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and politicians Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland).
The legislation proposal calls for the state to discontinue back-to-back probation judgments, Philly.com reports. The draft also aims to prevent Philadelphia-based judges from handing down additional sentences for non-violent technical violations; an example includes failing to pay dues or fines on deadline. Also, for those under state supervision who test positive for marijuana, the legislation aims to nix a jail sentence for this circumstance.
“There’s a lot of laws and statues that don’t actually make sense for people that look like myself,” Meek said. “One of them is if you’re around a felon you could be sent back to prison” or other technical violations like arriving at a probation office late. The father-of-one continued to state that this bill can signal “the first step in changing the criminal justice system and it’s only right that we start in my home state. I’ve lost too much time away from my son, my family, my friends and fans in Philly because of outdated probation laws, so I want to make sure people don’t have go through what I did.”
Per Philly.com, Lindsey Vaughan, executive director of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association, sided with REFORM’s proposal. Vaughan stated “there are too many people on county probation” and called for legislators to work together so that “our laws can be changed to ensure that the right people are being supervised and that only those who ought to be sent back to prison for a probation violation are.”
Details on the bill’s progress are still forthcoming.