Jay Z just welcomed his new babies into the world with wife Beyonce, but he’s also making a statement about the exploitative bail bond industry and criminal justice system.
Hov used his given name, Shawn Carter, to pen an opinion piece for TIME magazine. He talks about his life and songs like “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” were influenced by the injustice of the prison system and its effect on people of color.
Carter names his involvement in the docu-series Time: The Kalief Browder Story as a catalyst for his passion against the injustice done by the for-profit bail bond industry.
“Kalief’s family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22. Sandra Bland was also forced to post bail after her minor traffic infraction in Prairie View, Texas, led to a false charge of assaulting a public servant (the officer who arrested her was later charged with perjury regarding the arrest). She was placed in a local jail in a pre-incarcerated state. Again, she was never convicted of a crime.”
“If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail.”
Hov remarked on the incredible restorative justice work done by Southerners on New Ground and Color of Justice by raising bail money to release 100 incarcerated (simply accused, not convicted) mothers for Mother’s Day. Jay plans on continuing this work to include fathers.
The new father of twins announced in his op-ed piece, “This Father’s Day, I’m supporting those same organizations to bail out fathers who can’t afford the due process our democracy promises. As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”
Happy Father’s Day, Hov!
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