Advocacy group founded by Meek Mill and Jay-Z partnering with sheriffs to distribute masks in prisons

Advocacy group founded by Meek Mill and Jay-Z partnering with sheriffs to distribute masks in prisons
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The prison advocacy group founded by rappers Meek Mill and Jay-Z is partnering with the National Sheriffs’ Association to deliver protective gear to every jail in the country in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus among incarcerated people.

The Reform Alliance, which recently received a $10 million donation from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, will partner with the sheriffs’ association to distribute masks and other equipment to prison staff.

“America’s sheriffs are grateful to the REFORM Alliance for providing the scarcely available life-saving equipment that are vital to the maintaining their jails during the pandemic,” said incoming National Sheriffs’ Association President Dave Mahoney. “These masks will ensure sheriffs are able to keep their jails as safe and healthy as possible. We look forward to partnering with REFORM on areas as we move forward.”

The Reform Alliance, which is run by Van Jones, has already sent more than 100,000 surgical masks to Rikers Island and other prison facilities.

The group has been warning about the spread of coronavirus through the prison system; there have been hundreds of cases at Rikers Island alone.

The Reform Alliance has urged federal and state lawmakers to reduce incarcerations during the outbreak by sending elderly and nonviolent criminals to home confinement or by suspending jail sentences for technical violations.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe," said Reform Alliance chief advocacy officer Jessica Jackson.

"We’re proud to partner with the National Sheriffs Association to help protect them and vulnerable populations in our jails from the coronavirus. We’ve seen how rapidly the virus can spread through jails and how failure to stop the spread behind bars puts local communities at risk. We've also seen sheriffs throughout the country adopt evidence-based solutions to get incarcerated people out of harm's way and remain in contact with loved ones. We hope this is one of many opportunities to work with sheriffs across the nation.”