ABOVE: Meek Mill attends Rihanna’s 5th Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on September 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball)
If you’re spending the holidays surrounded by your friends and family, take a moment to extend your gratitude to the most high, as everyone is not as fortunate. For Meek Mill who knows all too well what it feels like to be away from home on the holidays, the time he spent locked up served as the impetus to help a few families avoid that same experience. This year, the rapper decided to post bail for 20 Philadelphia women, five of whom were released from Riverside Correctional Facility on last Friday. Others will be released throughout this week.
“It was devastating for me to be away from my son during the holidays when I was incarcerated,” Mill, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, said. “So, I understand what these women and their families are going through.”
Meek was once convicted in 2008 for drug dealing and gun possession, a conviction which was overturned in 2019. Upon his release, the musician became an activist for criminal justice reform, recognizing how easy it is for those on parole and probation to find themselves behind bars. In this same year, alongside other philanthropists and activists, including Jay-Z and businessman Michael Rubin, Meek founded REFORM Alliance, a non-profit organization aiming “to transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems and culture to create real pathways to work and wellbeing.”
“A justice system that holds people accountable and redirects them back to work and wellbeing leads to stronger families and safer communities,” the organization’s website reads. “Instead of keeping people trapped in a revolving door from probation/parole to prison — which costs taxpayers billions of dollars — we’re working to move people from the justice system into stability.”
The 35-year-old remains committed to the cause, and his latest offering puts the proof in the Christmas pudding.
“No one should have to spend the holidays in jail simply because they can’t afford bail,” he shared. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help these women be with their families and loved ones during this special time of year.”