Home Arts & Culture Robert Kraft teams with Jay-Z, Meek Mill in starting criminal justice reform organization

Robert Kraft teams with Jay-Z, Meek Mill in starting criminal justice reform organization

January 28, 2019 – 23 Shevat 5779
Sports and entertainment figures including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers owner Michael Rubin, recording artist and entrepreneur Jay-Z, and recording artist Meek Mill announced the foundation of a criminal justice reform organization called REFORM Alliance.

The organization was conceived after Rubin arranged a meeting between Kraft and Meek Mill last spring, when the artist was in prison for a highly controversial probation violation that generated extensive media coverage and calls for change.

“After meeting him in jail, I felt affection for him,” Kraft said. “We had developed a nice relationship. And I’ve never been to jail before. Going there and seeing him, I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night when I got home. Because here I’m thinking how out of touch something like myself is with what’s really going on.”

Entrepreneur ad recording artist Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, from left, gestures as he poses with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin, recording artist Meek Mill, Galaxy Digital CEO and founder Michael Novogratz, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Third Point CEO and founder Daniel S. Loeb, and REFORM Alliance CEO and political activist Van Jones after the group announced a partnership to transform the American criminal justice system, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. (Photo: Kathy Willens, AP)

In a news conference and presentation Wednesday at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the co-founders explained their goals and initiatives, which includes removing one million people from the criminal justice system within five years.

“We give to charitable things and we try to do good,” Kraft continued. “But here you have (Meek Mill), who’s creative, who’s innovative, who’s inspiring to young people. And for riding a motorcycle and doing a wheelie, he’s put in jail where tax payers are paying to keep him going, and he’s not employing all the people he could be employing and generating all of the tax dollars he could do. It’s just a cuckoo system – forgetting the social impact of that.

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