Free the homies! There is a glimmer of hope for those who’ve fallen victim to the evil practices of banking on bondage practices.
Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has teamed with First Round Capital to launch Promise, a decarceration startup to bring about bail reform.
The Vera Institute of Justice reported that nationwide, an astounding 62 percent of those incarcerated aren’t actually victims of a crime. These inmates are wrongfully being held against their will because they simply cannot make bail. This includes those who committed misdemeanor or lower level offenses –– including traffic violations!
Shawn Carter has had enough. Tired of seeing people fall victim to wrongful imprisonment due to excessive bail, Shawn Carter and his partners continue to fight back.
Jay-Z said in a statement:
“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system. Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems. Promise’s team, led by co-founder and CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”
A whopping $22.2 billion is spent locking people in jail. Another $38 million is spent DAILY to keep nonviolent victims behind bars as reported by the Pretrial Justice Institute.
So far, Jay-Z along with his partners have raised $3 million for a revolutionary app.
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, the CEO of Promise, pledges that the app will help local governments and counties. The app offers mentorship and assistance to low-risk victims behind bars due to excessive bail.
All done through a smartphone, the assistance it offers includes notifying participants when to appear in court, drug testing or substance abuse treatment, counseling and housing.
TechCrunch caught up with Ellis-Lamkins and she had this to say.
“People are going to jail because they look at a piece of paper and misread it, or are going to jail because they can’t afford a class because they’re instead paying child support. If we’re putting people in jail because they’re poor, brown or black, we’re spending money the wrong way.”
So far Ellis-Lamkins is saving taxpayers of one county $173 a month by incorporating the app. Usually, the county pays $190 per day to keep one person in a cage. With the app the county pay $17, saving taxpayers money. Not a bad investment for all parties involve.
Privately-owned prisons have been making money off this cruel practice for decades. While it is lucrative, it is a new form of slavery that we blindly overlook. There are more African-Americans locked in cells than there were slaves. It’s how the organization works.
Those arrested are often from low-income neighborhoods. They cannot afford to pay bail because they’ll more than likely go into debt. This leaves the victim faced with two options: Plead guilty or await trial in a cell.
Last year on Father’s Day, Hov let his true feelings be known about the bail industry.
“When I helped produce this year’s docuseries, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, I became obsessed with the injustice of the profitable 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.”
Shoutout to Jay-Z for not turning his back on the community that raised him. Hopefully we see some type of reform and soon.