By Jasmine Washington
Jay Z will spend this upcoming Father’s Day tackling the controversial bail bonds industry. The newly minted Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee penned a passionate essay on Time.com about his sudden interest in the bail bonds system and unveiled his personal attempt at challenging it.
Hov explained how the bail bonds system often works against the underprivileged. “If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail. Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime,” he wrote.
Crediting his role as an executive producer on the Time: The Kalief Browder Story docuseries for his new interest in the unjust system he continued, “I became obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry. Kalief’s family was too poor to post bond when he was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sentenced to a kind of purgatory before he ever went to trial. The three years he spent in solitary confinement on Rikers ultimately created irreversible damage that lead to his death at 22.”
Dropping some astounding and saddening statistics Hov added, “Every year $9 billion dollars are wasted incarcerating people who’ve not been convicted of a crime, and insurance companies, who have taken over our bail system, go to the bank.”
The soon-to-be father of three credited Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change for inspiring his upcoming Father’s Day gift. The organizations recently hosted a fundraising drive to bail 100 mothers out of jail for Mother’s Day. “This Father’s Day, I’m supporting those same organizations to bail out fathers who can’t afford the due process our democracy promises,” he added.
“As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry,” he concluded.
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