California took a big step towards major criminal justice reform.
Wednesday (Sept.30), the REFORM Alliance, the criminal justice reform group co-founded by JAY-Z and Meek Mill, had a big reason to celebrate. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 1950 that limits adult probation sentence maximums to just one year for misdemeanors and only two years for felonies.
The group took to Twitter to announce the victory and thanked Governor Newsom:
“MAJOR REFORM VICTORY! California enacts #AB1950. This bill will help put hundreds of thousands of Californians on probation in positions to succeed and exit the criminal justice system for good.”
The signing of AB 1950 is a big win for the group and followed Newsom signing into law numerous police and criminal justice reforms like banning carotid restraint chokeholds while making arrests. Governor Newsom also made it easier for attorney generals to independently investigate police shootings of unarmed individuals that lead to death.
In a statement, JAY-Z spoke on the passing of AB 1950:
“I want to thank Governor Newsom for his leadership in signing AB 1950, the most transformative probation bill in this country to date. This is a first step that I hope introduces a wave of much-needed change throughout the country.”
Governor Newsom added:
“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system–and of ourselves. We heard those calls for action loud and clear and today are advancing reforms to improve policing practices by ending the carotid hold and requiring independent investigations in officer-involved shootings. We are also taking important steps to break the school-to-prison pipeline. Still, we can and must do more.”
Following Meek Mill being sent back to prison for probation violation, REFORM was launched back in 2017. He would document that fight in the Amazon doc, Free Meek. This past March, Meek also announced the S.A.F.E.R. Plan, which laid out policy recommendations on curbing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. He again teamed up with HOV to help donate much-needed PPE like surgical masks and gowns to correctional facilities.
Photo: Shareif Ziyadat / Getty