JAY-Z penned a powerful op-ed for the New York Times on the “absurdity of the criminal justice system.” This piece was inspired by Meek Mill’s heavy handed sentence, which Hov has been vocal about. But he notes that Meek’s case is a famous example of a widespread issue.
On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn’t smarten up and is back where he started. But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life.
The 4:44 rapper also slams probation, calling it a “land mine” rather than a second chance.
As of 2015, one-third of the 4.65 million Americans who were on some form of parole or probation were black. Black people are sent to prison for probation and parole violations at much higher rates than white people. In Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of people are on probation or parole.
Jay suggests that jails will literally be shut down if probation or parole never existed considering half of the people in Philadelphia’s city jails are locked up for probation and parole violations.