Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation has invested $3 million in a startup company determined to combat America’s incarceration epidemic.
Alongside First Round Capital, Roc Nation has invested $3 million into Promise, a de-carceration startup that offers counties and local governments an alternative to holding low-risk people behind bars because they can’t afford bail.
For each participant, Promise provides a comprehensive care plan that will vary based upon the person’s needs. The plan will offer everything from reminders about drug testing and court appearance dates to access to job training, housing, counseling, and referrals.
“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems. Promise’s team, led by co-founder and CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”
“People are going to jail because they look at a piece of paper and misread it, or are going to jail because they can’t afford a class because they’re instead paying child support,” Ellis-Lamkins said in an interview with TechCrunch.
“Our system is built on reducing recidivism. Our ideal outcome is the person gets a job, does not reoffend and does not continue in the system.”
Currently, Promise is on boarding one county and is in the process of partnering with three other counties.
Last year, Jay-Z donated money to Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change to bail out incarcerated fathers who couldn’t make bail.