Jay-Z Helping Transform Criminal Justice System with This Innovative Investment

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Jay-Z invested in Promise, which debuted Tuesday. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS)

Jay-Z is charging forward with his mogul status by branching off into some new technical territory.

The rapper’s entertainment group, Roc Nation, is an investor in Promise, an app which seeks to dismantle the prison industrial system.

The company announced the partnership Monday, March 19, The Huffington Post reported. According to its official website, Promise “provides a cost-effective, more humane alternative to incarceration by extending the capabilities of community supervision, improving long-term outcomes for individuals and communities.”

Promise will be available to users on parole or who would otherwise be incarcerated along with government agencies.

“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,” Jay-Z in a statement. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems.”

The app comes into play during the pre-trial stage to assist individuals who cannot afford bail. From there, a plan is devised and the app supports the person in helping them make court dates, drug testing appointments and substance abuse treatments all through the app on their phone. Coordinated support is also offered for users who need services like counseling and job training.

Tuesday, March 20th marks the app’s formal debut at Y Combinator Demo Day.

That Jay should choose to get involved is unsurprising. He’s been outspoken about how the criminal justices system has betrayed the Black community. This has been most notable in his work on a Trayvon Martin series and documentary that’s in development and on documentaries like “Time: The Kalief Browder Story.”

“What was done to him was a huge injustice,” Jay told Democracy Now last year of Browder’s abusive time at Rikers Island. “And I think people see his story and realize like, ‘Man, this is going on.’ … This is happening a lot for people, you know, especially places where I come from — inner boroughs and Marcy Projects and the Bronx and Brooklyn and all these places.”

 

 

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