Rapper Meek Mill has paid bail for 20 women so they can spend the holidays at home, according to the REFORM Alliance, an organization he launched with Jay-Z in 2019.
The women were held at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia and were unable to post bail, according to an Instagram post from the REFORM Alliance.
The non-profit organization says five women were released on Saturday and 15 more will be released in the coming week. Each woman will also receive a gift card “to buy groceries or gifts for the holidays.”
Meek Mill said that the donation was informed by his own personal experience with the criminal justice system.
“Being away from my son during the holidays was devastating for me, so I understand what these women and their families are going through,” the rapper said in another Instagram post from REFORM Alliance.
“For families affected by the criminal justice system, the holidays can be an extremely challenging time,” continued Meek Mill. “No one should have to spend the holidays in jail just because they can’t post bail, and if we can do something about it, no child should be left without their parents during that time.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to help these women be with their families and loved ones during this special time of year.”
Meek Mill launched the REFORM Alliance in 2019 with a cadre of other sports and business leaders. The organization aims to “transform probation and parole by changing the laws, systems and culture to create real pathways to work and well-being”, according to its website.
The Philadelphia native has been a vocal advocate of criminal justice reforms. An explosive social media movement called #FreeMeekMill began after he was sentenced to two to four years in prison in 2017 for a parole violation. He was released after spending five months in jail for the violation.
As of November 2022, a total of 4,546 people were incarcerated in Philadelphia jails, according to Philadelphia government statistics. About 6.4% of that group are women.