The supplies went to prisons in three different states.
As the coronavirus pandemic affects different sectors of society, celebrities are finding ways to aid in relief efforts. On Friday, the REFORM Alliance announced the donation of 100,000 masks to inmates and staff in correctional facilities.
Meek Mill and Jay-Z co-founded the organization, along with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and CNN contributor Van Jones. The organization donated 50,000 masks to Rikers Island’s complex, 40,000 to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, and 5,000 to Mississippi’s State Penitentiary at Parchman.
“THANK YOU to our friend @ShakaSenghor for leading this charge,” the organization tweeted. ”
Jessica Jackson, REFORM’s chief advocacy officer, spoke with CBS News on Friday. “It’s a vulnerable population,” she said. “We’re really worried about he number of people coming in and out of the facility, and the fact that the people living there might be sitting ducks during the pandemic.”
Jackson says REFORM spoke with officials in each of the states. New York City and Tennessee officials expressed a desire to help but lacked the resources. “Overwhelmingly the response was ‘please provide the masks, we really need them,” she said. “They want to protect the people working and living in the facilities. I think Rikers Island especially, they are very aware the virus has hit and so many lives are now at risk.”
Read more about REFORM’s “SAFER Plan” to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the criminal justice system.