Rapper Meek Mill has paid bail for 20 women so they can spend the holidays at home, according to REFORM Alliance, an organization he co-founded with Jay-Z in 2019.
The women are being held at Philadelphia’s Riverside Correctional Facility, unable to pay bond, according to an Instagram post by REFORM Alliance.
Five of the women were released Saturday and 15 more will be released next week, the nonprofit said. Each woman will also receive a gift card “to use toward the purchase of festive food or gifts.”
Meekmill said the donation was based on his personal experience with the criminal justice system.
“Leaving my son on vacation while I was incarcerated was devastating to me so I understand what these women and their families are going through,” the rapper said in another REFORM Alliance Instagram post .
“The holiday season can be an extremely challenging time for families impacted by the criminal justice system,” Meekmill continued. “Nobody should have to spend holidays in prison just because they can’t pay bail, and if there is something we can do, no child should be without a parent during that time.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to help reunite these women with their families and loved ones during this special time of year.”
Meek Mill launched the Reform Coalition in 2019 along with other sports and business leaders. According to its website, the organization “aims to transform probation and parole by changing laws, institutions and culture to create genuine pathways to work and well-being”.
The Philadelphia native has been an active advocate for criminal justice reform. In 2017, after he was sentenced to two to four years for violating his parole, he launched an explosive social media campaign called #FreeMeekMill. He appeared in court on Friday after being jailed for five months for the offence.
According to Philadelphia government data, as of November 2022, a total of 4,546 people are being held in Philadelphia jails. About 6.4% of this group are women.