Meek mill

Meek Mill Overcome With Emotion And Tears Up As Pennsylvania Governor Signs Probation Reform Bill

Meek Mill had been on probation for the majority of his adult life.

Meek Mill’s battle with the probation system in the City of Philadelphia has finally come full circle. In 2017, the rapper pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge, effectively ending a 12-year-long case that stemmed from a 2007 drug and gun charge.

As NPR reported, Meek Mill had been on probation for most of his adult life, and the ordeal prompted him to step up his involvement with the REFORM Alliance, which named him, along with fellow East Coast rapper Jay-Z, as its co-chairs in July 2019.

According to a press release shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE, the organization recently celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 838 after five years of pushing the Pennsylvania General Assembly to reform its probation system.

Complex reports that at the press conference where Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro signed the bill into law, Meek Mill was emotionally overcome as he delivered remarks at the event.

“I don’t want to get emotional because it’s a lot,” Meek Mill said as he wiped tears from his eyes. “You don’t have to clap ’cause I’m at a point in my life like we all grew up in the streets, and we try to be better, but they labeled us felons and sent us back to jail. I had to fight against that the whole time to gain my respect and be who I am today, and I’m proud of that.”

Meek Mill’s original probation violation, which the organization says is a non-criminal technical violation, would not result in the same prison sentence he received in 2007 due to the bill. “The victory is a culmination of nearly five years of advocacy by REFORM Alliance and leaders across the political spectrum in Pennsylvania. In 2017, REFORM Co-Chair Meek Mill was sentenced to two to four years in prison for non-criminal technical violations of his probation after a decade-long battle with the justice system in Pennsylvania,” the release stated.

According to the press release, Meek reflected the magnitude of the bill’s passing. “I can’t explain how much this bill means to me,” Meek Mill said. “My experience on probation reflected millions of other stories that go unheard. So, when the world saw my case and the absurdity of sending people to prison for non-criminal technical violations, it sparked a movement. It’s an honor and a blessing to see this change come to my home state. I am deeply grateful to the lawmakers and advocates for their hard work over many years to get this done. Thank you, truly.” 

In a statement, Gov. Shapiro said the bill proves that Pennsylvania’s state leadership cares about giving citizens second chances.

“We’re showing that we believe in second chances here in Pennsylvania – and when someone gets a second chance, that should be a real opportunity to start over and succeed,” Shapiro explained. “We’re taking common sense steps to remove unnecessary barriers for Pennsylvanians who want to rebuild their lives and meaningfully contribute to our communities. Because of this bill, more people will get to spend the holidays with their families, more parents will get that job they wanted, and more people will get back on their feet. They’ve served their time, they’ve paid their debt to society – we should do everything we can to help them succeed and thrive.”

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