Prisoners Need a New Set of Rights

Like many who are currently incarcerated, I was the victim of a miscarriage of justice — carried out by an untruthful officer, as determined by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, and an unfair judge. My crime? Popping a wheelie... Read more
Like many who are currently incarcerated, I was the victim of a miscarriage of justice — carried out by an untruthful officer, as determined by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, and an unfair judge. My crime? Popping a wheelie on a motorcycle in Manhattan. Even though the charge was dismissed in a New York City court, a Philadelphia-based judge still deemed my interaction with the police to be a technical violation of my probation — stemming from a 2007 arrest — and sentenced me to two to four years in prison despite the fact that I didn’t commit a crime. The judge also refused my motion for bail, calling me a “danger to the community” and a “flight risk.” The ordeal cost me my most precious commodity: my freedom. I served five months. With the help of friends and the intervention of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, I was released on bail this past April and was able to resume my life. But I know I’m the exception to the rule — a lucky one. It’s clearer than ever that a disproportionate number of men and women of color are treated unfairly by a broken criminal justice system. The system causes a vicious cycle, feeding upon itself — sons and daughters grow up with their parents in and out of prison, and then become far more likely to become tied up in the arrest-jail-probation cycle. This is bad for families and our society as a whole. Read less
Philadelphia, PA ( Federal)
May 25, 2019
Submitted by: meekmill
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Meek Mill

November 26, 2018

We, as a free and democratic society, must do better. Since my release, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several lawmakers such as Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and I’m determined to use my platform to help those without the resources to make their voices heard.

We all need to hold our lawmakers accountable for... Read more

November 26, 2018

We, as a free and democratic society, must do better. Since my release, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several lawmakers such as Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and I’m determined to use my platform to help those without the resources to make their voices heard.

We all need to hold our lawmakers accountable for supporting unfair or inhumane policies and all practices that perpetuate injustice, especially for the blacks and Latinos who fall prey to them most frequently. The reality is African-Americans and Latinos who come from poverty-stricken neighborhoods are assigned public defenders too overburdened to do anything in most cases other than negotiate the most favorable plea deal, regardless of guilt or innocence.

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Meek Mill

November 26, 2018

Together, we will demand stronger prison rehabilitation programs, updated probation policies — including shortened probationary periods — an improved bail system and balanced sentencing structures.

It’s a shame that model probationers can be immediately put back behind bars simply for missing curfew, testing positive for... Read more

November 26, 2018

Together, we will demand stronger prison rehabilitation programs, updated probation policies — including shortened probationary periods — an improved bail system and balanced sentencing structures.

It’s a shame that model probationers can be immediately put back behind bars simply for missing curfew, testing positive for marijuana, failing to pay fines on time or, in some cases, not following protocol when changing addresses. Our lawmakers can and should do away with these “technical violations.”

And more broadly, if they’re serious about reducing mass incarceration and unnecessary government surveillance, they should introduce legislation that allows people on probation to earn a reduction in probation time for good behavior so that entire swaths of people aren’t spending the majority of their adult lives on probation as I did.

The money saved from imprisoning fewer people could then be used for employment programs and mental health counseling that would equip the formerly incarcerated with the tools for reintegration into society.

Above all, we need to make sure punishments actually fit crimes.

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Meek Mill: Prisoners Need a New Set of Rights

2018/11/26 - New York Times