JAY-Z and Meek Mill’s criminal justice reform organization REFORM Alliance—a group headed up by CEO Van Jones—celebrated its first major legislative victory tonight as California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1950 into law. The new law, which was pushed forward in a campaign led by REFORM, will limit adult probation sentence maximums to one year for misdemeanors and two years for felonies.
The bill was one of many signed today by Gov. Newsom in response to calls for police and criminal justice reform, CBS News reports. He additionally signed a bill banning police officers’ use of chokeholds during arrests and another that made it so the state’s attorney general can independently investigate police shootings.
“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system–and of ourselves,” Newsom said in a statement. “Still, we can and must do more. Working with our youth, faith and community leaders, law enforcement, the legislature and countless others demanding change, my administration remains committed to the important work ahead to make our criminal and juvenile justice systems fairer and safer for all Californians.”
“I want to thank Governor Newsom for his leadership in signing AB 1950, the most transformative probation bill in this country to date,” JAY-Z said in a statement. “This is a first step that I hope introduces a wave of much needed change throughout the country.”
“By signing AB 1950 into law, Governor Newsom has further cemented his legacy as a champion for justice, redemption, and opportunity,” Van Jones said. “In a year that has been so challenging and difficult for so many, this reform marks a bright spot that will lead to better outcomes for individuals and families across California. I cannot thank the Governor enough for supporting this legislation. I look forward to working with him to make the measure even stronger and more meaningful in the coming year.”
REFORM Alliance began in part as a response to Meek Mill’s re-imprisonment in November 2017 for a probation violation. Meek became a spokesperson for prison and criminal justice reform, and Amazon’s documentary series Free Meek made the case for probation reform. The organization’s other founders include Philadelphia 76ers co-owner and Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin, Kraft Group CEO and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Third Point LLC founder Daniel S. Loeb, Galaxy Digital founder Michael E. Novogratz, and Vista Equity Partners founder Robert F. Smith.
Read “Is Meek Mill’s Friendship With Trump Supporter Robert Kraft an Unholy Alliance?” on the Pitch.