Meek Mill, Michael Rubin surprise families impacted by incarceration with epic day

NEW YORK CITY (WPVI) -- Meek Mill and his celebrity friends created a day full of generosity for children in Philadelphia who have a parent impacted by the justice system and incarceration.

The day started with a trip to New York City for a shopping spree at the NBA Store in Manhattan.

Meek Mill met the families at the store along with Sixers partner Michael Rubin and Philanthropist Clara Tsai. They are the founding members of Reform Alliance, an organization working to change probation laws in Pennsylvania and across the country.

They invited families negatively impacted by the criminal justice system to raise awareness but also raise their spirits.

Every child had a parent that has been incarcerated for a technical violation of probation, which means they were sent to prison although they haven't committed a new crime.

Advocates pushing for reform say the current system is too punitive.

Jevell Harris, from Philadelphia's Germantown section, was at the event with his three children. He spent seven years on probation for violations that were not criminal.

It is a topic Meek Mill has lived personally. After spending most of his adult life under court supervision, the 32-year-old is no longer on probation as of August 2019.

Robert Kraft, a founding member of Reform and owner of the Patriots invited the kids and their loved ones to Foxborough, Massachusetts to watch their NFL game.

Kraft sent the team's private charter plane to pick them up. For many, it was their first time on a plane.

This was 8-year-old Cyncere Harris' first time on a plane.

Cyncere's big sister Serenity is also flying for the first time.

"I've never been on a plane a day of my life because I'm too scared, so right I might seem fine on the outside-- on the inside I'm legit dying inside," she said.

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Robert Kraft flies Philadelphia families impacted by incarceration to Foxborough for NFL game. Sharrie Williams has more on Action News at 5 p.m. on December 24, 2019.

When things settled down, Rubin walked the plane and listened to parents who've been incarcerated, like Dawan Williams.

"I get it, we all have to be accountable for something, but Mike, you're going to give a person more time because he cannot afford to pay you," said Williams.

"We are not stopping until we get the laws changed," Rubin said.

Once they grounded the group headed to Gillette Stadium where they were greeted by Kraft in the team meeting room.

Next, it was a special vip experience on the field.

"I want the the kids in Philadelphia to know that all of America feels your pain when it's done unjustly. People like myself and a lot of friends and Rubin and Meek going to work very hard to correct this problem," Kraft said.

"For us to get the opportunity to experience something like this-- being flown on a private jet and see people care about us, and give back to us, is something eye-opening and gives you more drive to do something so you can be in a position to get back to somebody," said Ahjanae Williams.

Music superstar DJ Khaled also stopped by to meet the kids in New York to support Meek Mill and his push to create a fairer criminal justice system.
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DJ Khaled surprises kids in New York to support Meek Mill and his push to create a fairer criminal justice system

And even though these youngsters are big Eagles fans, they accepted the invitation from the Patriots because they say these issues in the criminal justice system are bigger than sports.

The Pennsylvania State Legislature has House Bill 1555 and Senate Bill 14 both aimed at addressing Probation Reform. They could be voted on early 2020.
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