Rapper Meek Mill calls for probation reform with state legislators

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- At the end of 2017, some 42,000 people were under supervision, probation, or parole in Philadelphia.

That's 1 in 22 people.

Rapper Meek Mill, journalist Van Jones, and Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin were joined by state representatives on Tuesday to address what they call "a broken system."

"I hate it had to be me, to go to jail. A rapper or a public figure to go to jail, for it to become an issue. But it is an issue and this is where were are," said rapper Meek Mill, pledging to keep fighting.

"Probation has been the quicksand of our justice system. The moment you get in it's hard to get out and even as hard as you try to get out, it pulls you back in," says State Representative Jordan Harris.

Harris is working with both Democrats and Republicans I'm introducing a bill to curb the number of people on parole and probation.

The "REFORM Alliance" initiative is focused on reducing the number of people who go back to jail for technical parole and probation violations, not for reoffending or committing a new crime.

Some of the discussion points include: Preventing courts from handing down consecutive probation sentences.

Avoiding longer probation terms because of parolees missing fine payments. Establishing a system that rewards good behavior, which may include shaving off probation time.

State Representative Jordan Harris says the discussions will continue on the bill which they aim to introduce this session.
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