WASHINGTON — The group REFORM Alliance says it will send 10 million surgical masks along with other personal protective equipment to prisons across the United States to help inmate populations mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
The group's famous founding members Meek Mill and Jay Z, along with Michael Rubin have launched the effort with the support of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey who donated $10 million to the organization through his #StartSmall initiative. It's all part of the groups' work to help with the coronavirus pandemic's spread in correctional facilities around the country.
In a statement obtained by CBS, Dorsey said, "I'm grateful REFORM exists. The criminal justice system needs to change. COVID-19 adds to the injustices, and REFORM is best suited to help."
As Complex reports, Reform will distribute the equipment and masks to prisons in 50 U.S. states, highlighting the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio which has been hit hard with 2,197 cases the report says.
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, jails have drastically cut populations, but state prisons have hardly moved when it comes to populations. According to the organization, social distancing in state prisons is just as "impossible" as it is in jails. The organization also notes that correctional staff are moving in and out of these facilities every day.
The organization's president Bob Pilon said the organization is doing this "to give that population a voice and answer their call to be treated like humans."
REFORM was created last year with Meek Mill, Jay-Z along with Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and Michael Rubin, the owner of the Fanatics.