The funds will be used to slow the spread of the coronavirus in prisons. With those funds, the prisons will be able to purchase more than 10 million surgical masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for people who are incarcerated. It will also go to correctional officers, health care workers, and other prison employees. The resources will be distributed to jail and prison facilities nationwide.
Dorsey announced the donation via his Twitter account:
— jack (@jack) May 11, 2020
To which Michael Rubin responded:
Huge!! Welcome to the team @Jack !! As the battle rages on for long overdue probation and parole reform in this country – we continue to look to for the best and brightest to join this fight! Can’t wait for you to get started and join the amazing team we’ve assembled!!! @REFORM https://t.co/G1clyE3hix
— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) May 11, 2020
“I’m grateful Reform exists,” Dorsey said in a statement to BLACK ENTERPRISE. “The criminal justice system needs to change. COVID-19 adds to the injustices, and Reform is best suited to help.”
“This generous donation from Jack and #startsmall is an absolute game-changer,” said Reform Alliance CEO Van Jones. “Not only will this gift help us protect millions from the threat of COVID-19, but this level of support from a tech titan marks a turning point for the criminal justice reform movement. It’s truly an honor to call Jack an ally in this fight, be able to provide masks to every prison in America, and potentially save tens of thousands of lives.”
REFORM Alliance was created last year to reduce the nation’s incarceration rate through changes to probation and parole policies. Meek and Rubin are the co-chairs of the criminal justice reform organization while Jay-Z and Robert Kraft sit on the executive board.
Last month, the organization partnered with advocate Shaka Senghor to send 40,000 masks to the Tennessee Department of Corrections; 5,000 masks to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman; and 50,000 to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City. Another 2,500 will also be sent to a Rikers medical facility. Weeks later, the organization teamed up with Madonna and Jessica Alba’s husband, film producer Cash Warren, to send 100,000 additional masks to more prison facilities.