JAY-Z and Meek Mill‘s justice reform organization, the Reform Alliance, is donating 100,000 face masks to various prisons across the United States to help protect inmates and the staff from the Coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to CBS News, Reform Alliance‘s chief advocacy officer Jessica Jackson shared concerns about Covid-19 spreading faster in jail as it is nearly impossible to follow social distancing guidelines. “It’s a very vulnerable population. We’re really worried about the number of people coming in and out of the facility, and the fact that the people living there might be sitting ducks during this pandemic.”
“I think Rikers Island especially, they are very aware the virus has hit and so many lives are now at risk,” Jackson added. As of this Thursday, 231 inmates and 223 staff members at New York City jails have tested positive for the virus, making it the largest outbreak in the prison system so far.
In response to this, Meek and JAY’s Reform Alliance has donated 5,000 masks to Parchman in Mississippi, 40,000 to Tennessee, 50,000 to Rikers Island in New York, and an additional 2,500 masks sent to Rikers Island’s medical facility.